Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Next steps for biodiversity and species protection in the UK - policy developments, local and key sector approaches to environmental stewardship, and priorities for the OEP

TO BE PUBLISHED July 2020


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***


This conference will examine a range of measures being rolled out or proposed to protect the natural environment across the UK.


We expect discussion to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what can be learned for the future, with discussion on:


  • the impacts of conservation projects being paused as well as wildlife reserves becoming neglected during lockdown,
  • increasing pressures on environmental charities and organisations as a result of loss in funding, along with increased environmental crime such as fly-tipping, illegal shooting and poaching,
  • disruptions to biodiversity policy planning post-2020, along with delays in rolling out new programmes, such as the Biodiversity Metric offsetting tool from Natural England,
  • benefits of reduced traffic, pollution and disturbances to wildlife, such as thriving bee populations, and how this progress on biodiversity recovery can be maintained post-lockdown,
  • how best to sustainably accommodate increases in public use of green spaces, whilst protecting wildlife from over-use, and
  • looking ahead at priorities for ensuring that recovery strategies take account of environmental policy and both species protection and biodiversity.

The agenda:


  • Biodiversity and species protection - the Environment Bill and wider policy landscape
  • Local approaches to environmental protection: Local Nature Recovery Strategies, monitoring biodiversity, and promoting species protection
  • Incorporating biodiversity net gain within the planning system
  • Emerging issues for the Office for Environmental Protection
  • Priorities for ensuring biodiversity and species protection across key sectors
  • Next steps for ecological restoration and protecting biodiversity

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:


The discussion in detail:


  • Priorities for ensuring a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, factors in biodiversity protection, nature for climate change mitigation, and increasing public access and use of green spaces;
  • Local Nature Recovery Strategies across England, as required in the Environment Bill, looking at implementation priorities and practicalities, including how best to:
    • monitor biodiversity gain or loss at a local level,
    • effectively allocate resources, and
    • engage local businesses and communities in the development of local biodiversity plans.
  • Priorities for Nature Recovery Networks in biodiversity and species protection, bringing together local authorities and other public bodies to identify priorities and opportunities;
  • What support will be required to reverse the decline in wildlife in the UK, including funding following the reported additional £15m for Natural England to address challenges to nature recovery;
  • The potential impact of the environmental land management (ELM) scheme outlined in the Agriculture Bill, which will offer payments for tangible environmental improvements, including:
    • improved air and water quality,
    • increased biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and
    • reduced risk from hazards such as flooding and drought.
  • Major programmes proposed by the CCC - in tree planting, peat restoration, and reforms to agricultural practices and consumer consumption habits, including:
    • ways that land users may need to change their strategies and operations in order to reach net zero emissions, and
    • how industry and land users can include measures to protect biodiversity and endangered species within long-term plans.
  • Options for a mandatory approach to biodiversity net gain outlined in the Environment Bill with targets for increase in habitat value for wildlife, including:
    • the practicalities and impact of this approach,
    • stakeholder preparations for its introduction, and
    • the role of private, voluntary conservation covenants between a landowners and responsible bodies such as conservation charities.
  • The setting up and role of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), including:
    • ensuring adequate funding and autonomy for the OEP to be able to effectively monitor government and public bodies and hold them to account,
    • its teeth as a watchdog, with no current plans for the OEP to have the powers to issue penalties if targets are not met,
    • the ambition of targets for the OEP itself - ensuring UK environmental protection does not fall below EU levels, but not for the UK to improve on levels of protection compared to the EU, and
    • practicalities of its breadth of responsibilities in helping government to achieve environmental targets in biodiversity, as well as across agriculture, the circular economy, climate change and air quality.

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.


It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from Defra; BEIS; HM TreasuryMHCLG; the National Audit Office; the Department for Transport; the Cabinet Office; the Environment Agency; the Fast Stream Environment Network; the Government Legal Department; the Office for National Statistics; the Northern Ireland Environment Agency; DAERA NI;The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


Shortly after every Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes

Presentations

Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval


Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda

Q&A

Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Articles

Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates