THE York economist, intellectual and journalist, Barbara Ward will be honoured on a new Royal Mail stamps recognising those who made important contributions to British society.

Born in Heworth in 1914, Ward had a had a distinguished career in government, journalism and economics, even helping to inspire the European Union.

Underpinning her work was the progressive belief that for the world to survive and to thrive, fair sharing of resources and wealth was imperative.

She is now one of the heroes of the Remarkable Lives’ stamp issue which celebrates key figures in the arts, sport, design and economics.

Dr Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), which Barbara Ward founded in 1971, said: “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.”

Born into a York family founded in the Catholic and Quaker faiths, she studied in Paris and Oxford, working in journalism and pioneering global environmental issues.

She co-authored ‘Only One Earth’ for the 1972 UN conference on Human Development which was a landmark publication that invented the ideas of sustainable development.

With her husband Robert Jackson, an administrator for the United Nations, Ward observed significant projects in India and Africa, where she realised the importance of economic relationships between established and emerging countries.

A passionate and powerful intellectual, as well as a prolific writer and lecturer, Ward worked tirelessly to influence policy makers, persistently reminding them of their international responsibilities. She died in 1981.

Among the other people to be celebrated are Sir Alec Guinness and Kenneth More, Welsh poet and writer, Dylan Thomas, football player and manager, Joe Mercer and molecular biologist and Nobel laureate, Max Perutz.

The stamps will be available from tomorrow.