Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Next steps for the natural environment in the UK - policy, regulation, implementation and the way forward for ELMs, biodiversity net gain and the UK’s approach

May 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference examined key priorities and latest thinking on protecting and enhancing the natural environment in the UK.

It followed the January 2023 publication of the new Environmental Improvement Plan, with Biodiversity Net Gain set to become mandatory in November 2023, and took place in the context of:

  • the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 - currently progressing through Parliament
  • environmental land management schemes - following a January 2023 funding update
  • the Nature Recovery Green Paper - with the Government considering its response
  • wider policy developments including the Environment Act, the Agriculture Act and progress on the 25 Year Environment Plan

Stakeholders and policymakers assessed the way forward for preparation and implementation of new government plans and legislation, and priorities for policy frameworks and guidance.

Delegates also considered proposals around ELMs, including their impact on biodiversity, whole-system approaches to protecting the environment, opportunities for nature-based solutions, and priorities for funding, as well as next steps for habitat and species protection, landscape recovery, and supporting communities and local authorities.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Natural Environment and Land Use, Defra; Dame Glenys Stacey, Chair, Office of Environmental Protection; Professor Louise Heathwaite, Distinguished Professor, Lancaster Environment Centre; and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Lancaster University; and David Baldock, Senior Fellow, Agriculture and Land Management, Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Overall, sessions in the agenda looked at:

  • long-term priorities: natural environment protection - examining current standards and regulation - the next EIP
  • latest thinking: whole-system approaches for protecting the environment - nature-based solutions
  • funding nature recovery: securing investment - utilising natural capital accounting for asset use and protection
  • policy priorities: preparing for Biodiversity Net Gain - nature recovery - meeting targets set out in the Environment Act

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Cabinet Office; CCC; DAERA, NI; DBT; Defra; Department for the Economy, NI; DfE; DESNZ; Department for Infrastructure, NI; DSIT; DfT; Department of Finance, NI; DLUHC; EA; GLD; HM Treasury; HSE; MoD; MoJ; Ofwat; the Planning Inspectorate; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass holders from both Houses of Parliament.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda