DEFRA Launches ‘Ecosystem Approach’

Today, Joan Ruddock, Minister for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste, launched a new DEFRA action plan, ‘Securing a healthy natural environment’, which aims to embed an ‘ecosystems approach’ into the Department’s policy making and, ultimately, more widely, across the whole of government. This integrated, holistic approach to policy making and delivery on the natural environment is in line with calls from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and Convention on Biological Diversity that administrations adopt such measures to ensure sustainable development within environmental limits.

The report is accompanied by the launch of ‘An introductory guide to valuing ecosystem services’, aimed at policy-makers and economists and including a checklist of ecosystem services, with suggested ways of assessing their value.

Within the action plan, DEFRA has outlined 37 actions to be carried out within the next two years and against which progress will be evaluated in a report planned for 2009.