The Next Big Thing: Corporate Natural Capital Accounting

It goes without saying that one of the key components needed to address the emergencies we face from climate change and biodiversity loss is how we use land in the years ahead. The transformations we need involve changes to cropping regimes through a switch to agroecological approaches to growing our food, protection and enhancement of existing and creation of new habitats, better water resource management and…

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Let’s Create More Nature Reserves

My ambition for how and where funding from Biodiversity Net Gain should be deployed is to see a major habitat creation programme with landowners, farmers and conservation bodies. There are four key points to make on this : If Covid-19 is telling us anything it is that people hugely value their natural environment – witness the flight to our National parks and nature reserves in the…

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Changes to livestock farming are likely to free up land for natural capital provision including biodiversity

There can be no doubt that the agricultural sector is likely to experience a major impact on its activities in the coming decade. Work by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission has identified the urgent need to refocus how we use land, how we farm, that we need far greater emphasis on agroecological approaches to farming, delivering sustainable food systems, and a rebalancing of diets away…

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The Environment Bill and Biodiversity Net Gain Delivery – What Planning Authorities Need to Know

The Environment Bill sets out the mechanism by which biodiversity net gain from development is to operate. Planning Authorities will have a duty to implement the requirement for developers to deliver biodiversity net gain (BNG) on all developments covered by the Town & Country Planning Act (1990). Developers will be required to submit a ‘biodiversity gain plan’ with their planning application. They will have to secure,…

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The Environment Bill – Our Thoughts
Although some net gain can be achieved on a housing scheme, it will never help us restore biodiversity at scale

The Environment Bill – Our Thoughts

The Environment Bill was introduced on the 15 October 2019 by Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers. The Government has also published a policy statement alongside the Bill. Environment Bank welcomes the Government officially acknowledging the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis and the need to address these through nature-based solutions. Theresa Villiers - The Environment Secretary (Image: WikiCommons CC3.0) The Secretary of State declared that endeavours should be across…

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Habitat Banks will be the way to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain

The latest update to the Environment Bill, just released, confirms that all future projects involving the development of land will need to deliver a 10% biodiversity net gain. There is also a requirement to manage those enhancements for thirty years. Planning Authorities therefore now require transparent, independent, effective means of facilitating biodiversity net gain delivery. The answer is to contact the Environment Bank to establish strategically…

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Could mitigation standards finally be about to improve?

Back in 2008, I proposed an 'Office for Standards in the Environment', part of whose role would be to ensure development delivered effective mitigation, compensation and gains for biodiversity, with proper governance around delivery to make sure things happened for nature both within the development site boundary and on specific offset habitat banks. It goes to show how long things can take to happen. But we…

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The Environment Is Now The Main Agenda Item

Without an environment we have nothing. Yet the escalation in news stories about biodiversity loss, impacts of climate change now happening at pace, a food system that is not fit for purpose (not least because of the massive externality costs in its production), obesity and neurological illness epidemics linked to environmental issues, and a constantly growing human population, must surely mean that we need to take…

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Response to the Natural Capital Committee Comments on Net Gain

Whilst the advice on environmental net gain recently given to Government by the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has some welcome recommendations that Environment Bank agree with, some of the reporting of its recommendations have been confused. We are very much of the view, based on our extensive experience of establishing biodiversity net gain sites as compensation for development, that a centrally located tariff based system for…

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Standards for Biodiversity Offsetting Need to be Established as we Deliver Net Gain From Development

We have been modeling the relative costs of delivering biodiversity net gain (BNG) either onsite, ie within the development site boundary, or offsite through habitat banks, the latter conforming to biodiversity offsetting. It becomes blatantly obvious through this analysis that the vast majority of biodiversity net gain will have to be delivered offsite by providers (landowners, farmers, conservation bodies) if the mechanism is to be economically…

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