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Natural Capital Committee report on Defra's 25 year plan is a 'breath of fresh air'

Thursday 5th October 2017

NCC Report on Defra 25 year planYoesden wood and bank, a Local Wildlife Site saved by BBOWT. Pic: Wendy Tobitt

The Natural Capital Committee (NCC), led by Prof Dieter Helm, who is speaking at the BBOWT Conference on 14 October, has published its views on what the Government's 25 year Environment Plan should contain.

Only an Environment Act will ensure that the plan will endure and deliver real change for the next 25 years

Writing on The Wildlife Trusts' blog, Stephen Trotter, Director England and Living Landscapes, says: "This report is a breath of fresh air for those of us who care passionately about the natural world. It presents evidence-based solutions that can, and will, help solve some of the most pressing problems of our time.

"We are a part of nature - and everything we need comes from it. So getting this [the Defra 25-year plan] right is critically important if, like me, you care deeply about the future health and happiness of humanity."

Read the NCC Report Advice to the Government on the 25 year Environment Plan.  

Greater investment needed from the private sector in rebuilding our reserves of natural capital

"It is widely acknowledged that the UK is overdrawn on its 'environmental bank balance' and that we have built up a huge deficit which we need to pay off. We've taken and used the natural resources on which we depend at a faster rate than they can be renewed.

"The NCC advice is excellent and the Government needs to inject urgency into its 25 year plan. Greater investment will be needed from the private sector in rebuilding our reserves of natural capital and public funding will also need to be directed at these outcomes, targeted through mapping."

"One of the most critical points mentioned in the report, albeit rather quietly at the back, is the need for the 25 year plan to be underpinned by new legislation.

"Only an Environment Act will ensure that the plan will endure and deliver real change for the next 25 years – having a life beyond rotating governments and ephemeral ministerial appointments. It's also vital for government departments to work together for common purpose. Legally binding goals and positive spatial planning at a sub-national level are a great way of getting the join-up across Government that we need to achieve the vision.

"The NCC advice is excellent and the Government need to inject urgency into its 25 year plan. Greater investment will be needed from the private sector in rebuilding our reserves of natural capital and public funding will also need to be directed at these outcomes, targeted through mapping."

Read Stephen Trotter's blog in full.

The Future of Food, Farming and Nature, BBOWT Conference, 14 October.