Natural Environment White Paper is Published

Defra have released the first White Paper on the natural environment to be published in 20 years, outlining the Government’s vision for the natural environment over the next 50 years, along with actions to deliver the vision.

The plans in the White Paper are directly linked to the recently published UK Natural Ecosystem Assessment, and also acts on the recommendations of ‘Making Space for Nature’, a report into England’s wildlife sites published last year. The White Paper contains several key recommendations, including:

  • New Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs), transforming rural and urban areas and providing bigger, connected sites for wildlife to live in and adapt to climate change, with a £7.5 million fund for 12 initial NIAs.
  • Biodiversity offsetting
  • New Local Nature Partnerships to strengthen joined-up action across local agencies and organisations, with £1 million available this year.
  • Green Areas Designation allowing local communities to give protection to areas that are important to them for recreation, the view or their importance for wildlife.
  • More children experiencing nature by learning outdoors
  • Natural Capital Committee – an independent body to report to the Government’s economic affairs committee chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • An annual statement of green accounts for UK Plc – showing where our economy has withdrawn from the value of nature’s bank balance, and where we have invested in it. This will help measure green growth alongside GDP.
  • A business-led Task Force chaired by Kingfisher Group Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire, to expand the UK business opportunities from new products and services which are good for the economy and nature alike.

For more information, read Defra’s more detailed summary on their website, or download the White Paper here.

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