Environment Audit Committee Inquiry: Marine Protected Areas Revisited

Deadline for written submissions: 7th October 2016, 5 p.m. (no longer than 3000 words, must be submitted via the online portal)

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling for evidence on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the UK and the Overseas Territories. This inquiry follows on from two previous inquiries: Marine Protected Areas and Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories

The purpose of the Inquiry is to examine the Government’s progress in implementing Marine Protected Areas and ask what more needs to be done to meet the Goverment’s manifesto commitments. The Committee will follow-up recommendations made the two previous inquiries noted above and will also undertake post-legislative scrutiny of the Marine and Costal Access Act 2009.

The Committee is calling for written evidence on some or all of the following points:

Progress to date

  • Is the Government on track to achieving the commitment in the Conservative Party’s 2015 manifesto to complete the UK’s ‘Blue Belt’ by the end of the Parliament? What further actions should the Government be taking to meet its commitments?
  • How effective has the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) been at achieving its objectives? Are there improvements that could be made to it?

Domestic Marine Protected Areas

  • What lessons should the Government be taking from the process of designation, implementation and enforcement of the first two tranches of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs)? To what extent has it learnt those lessons?
  • The previous Committee expressed concern about a lack of leadership and resources for the implementation of MCZs. It recommended the Government should set out management plans for individual MCZs and an overall strategy for all MCZs. To what extent has the Government met the previous Committee’s concerns?
  • Some MPAs are designated under the EU Habitats Directive. How should the Government’s policy on the Blue Belt take account of the EU Referendum result?

Overseas Territories

  • What progress has the Government made towards achieving its goal of a Blue Belt around the Overseas Territories? What risks does it need to address? What best practice should it be following to monitor and enforce the MPAs?
  • To what extent do the Government’s Blue Belt proposals meet the concerns of the previous Committee, expressed in its report into Sustainability and the Overseas Territories?
  • How effectively has the Government consulted with the Overseas Territories Governments and communities? Are the Territories receiving the maximum economic benefit from the MPAs?

For more information and to submit evidence follow this link (detailed background to the inquiry can be found on that page by clicking on ‘terms of reference’)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,