British Ecological Society joins meeting to discuss Brexit with Government Minister

Yesterday the BES joined organisations from across the science and environment sectors at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for the environmental sciences and conservation with Robin Walker, Minister for Exiting the European Union.

BES and other organisations meet Brexit Minister Robin Walker
BES and other organisations meet Brexit Minister Robin Walker

Sue Hartley, BES President, and Ben Connor, Policy Manager, joined representatives from ZSL, the Campaign for Science and Engineering, the Royal Society of Biology and Wildlife and Countryside Link to share views on topics such as funding for research and innovation, continent-wide collaborative programmes, talent recruitment in the science community and the importance of maintaining international environmental standards.

Following the meeting, Robin Walker said:

“I am determined that the UK will maintain our proud record on environmental science and conservation after leaving the EU.


This Government is fully committed to supporting our world-class scientific community and has committed an extra £2bn funding for research and innovation to ensure we continue to attract the brightest minds to the UK as we exit the EU.


We will use the unique opportunity exiting the EU affords to design the most effective framework in the UK for driving environmental improvement – delivering on our goal to put Britain at the vanguard of tackling global environmental challenges, from conservation to climate change.”

Nathalie Pettorelli, Senior Research Fellow at ZSL and Secretary of the BES Conservation Special Interest Group, said:

“The Zoological Society of London is renowned for its science and conservation work worldwide, and wants the UK to remain a global leader in environmental research and management post-Brexit.


Together with our partners – the Campaign for Science and Engineering, the Royal Society of Biology, the British Ecological Society and the Wildlife Countryside Link – we are delighted to have the opportunity to highlight the challenges and opportunities we believe Brexit creates for environmental research and conservation to the Minister.


We want the Government and public to know that the UK’s environmental science and conservation community is ready and willing to help shape our future post-Brexit.”

The BES will be continuing to engage with Government to ensure that the views and expertise of the ecological community are represented during the process of leaving the European Union, and that decisions are informed by the best ecological evidence.