Royal Mail honours IIED founder Barbara Ward's 'remarkable life' with new stamp

IIED's founder, Barbara Ward has been honoured posthumously today with a stamp in the Royal Mail's Remarkable Lives series, which celebrates ten extraordinary people who were born 100 years ago.

News, 24 March 2014
IIED founder Barbara Ward has been honoured with a stamp in the Royal Mail's Remarkable Lives series

IIED founder Barbara Ward has been honoured with a stamp in the Royal Mail's Remarkable Lives series

A renowned economist with a deep concern for people and the environment, Ward was among the first to see the need to link development in Africa, Asia and Latin America with a concern for the global environment and the earth's diminishing resources.

Her work helped to define and establish today's widely accepted concept of sustainable development.

Also a prolific speaker and broadcaster, Ward was the first female Foreign Editor at The Economist and a governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The world leaders who sought her advice included two US presidents, and several UK prime ministers and heads of state from Africa and Asia. Time magazine called her one of the 20th century's most influential visionaries.

In 1971, Ward founded the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a policy research organisation which works in partnership with organisations across Africa, Asia and Latin America to promote sustainable development. In 1972, the landmark book Only One Earth; Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet that she wrote with Rene Dubos was published.

"Barbara Ward's inspirational thinking and ideas remain at the root of IIED's purpose and activities today," says Camilla Toulmin, IIED's director. "Her far-sighted vision, expressed so clearly four decades ago, continues to frame the agenda of today and tomorrow for us at IIED."

"Increasingly, her vision of a fair, just and sustainable world is driving the global debate on how we share the wealth of this beautiful planet so all our grandchildren can prosper. We are delighted and proud that the Royal Mail has chosen to honour her with the new stamp," says Toulmin.

"Barbara Ward was among the first to articulate the concept of sustainable development and what was needed to underpin it," says David Satterthwaite, a senior fellow at IIED who worked closely with Ward. "Under her guidance, IIED became one of the first organisations to make the crucial connection between people and planet, a connection that still drives our work today."

The other stamps in the series, which went on sale today, feature Dylan Thomas, Roy Plomley, Joe Mercer, Kenneth More, Sir Alec Guinness, Noorunissa Inayat Khan; Max Perutz; Joan Littlewood; and Abram Games.