EFRA Committee Announce Natural Environment White Paper inquiry

From the EFRA Committee:

MPs to examine Government proposals to protect and enhance the natural environment

Proposals set out in the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper, The Natural Choice; securing the value of nature, published on 7 June, will be the focus of a new inquiry by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Launching the inquiry, Anne McIntosh, chair of EFRA Committee said, “In what is the first White Paper on the natural environment to be produced for twenty years, the Government says it wants to be the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it inherited.

“Our inquiry will ask how well the Government’s proposals are likely to protect the environment for future generations, make the economy more environmentally sustainable or improve quality of life and well-being.

The committee is seeking evidence from interested parties and invites submissions on the following areas:

– What actions are required across Government Departments, from local government and by civil society to deliver the White Paper’s proposals to grow a green economy and reconnect people with nature?

– Will the institutional framework outlined for delivering the proposals (in particular Nature Improvement Areas and Local Nature Partnerships) be effective? Does the proposed Natural Capital Committee have sufficient powers?

– What further research and/or evidence is required to develop practical programmes sufficiently detailed to deliver the White Paper’s ambition to fully embed the value of nature into policy delivery?

– What evidence is there from other countries that the approaches proposed in the White Paper can be successfully applied in practice?

– What resources will be needed to fully deliver the White Paper’s ambitions and how can these best be provided? How might the value of ‘services’ provided by ecosystems to beneficiaries be translated into spending that will enhance the natural environment?

– Does the White Paper set out an accurate assessment of the barriers to public engagement with the natural environment and make the most effective proposals for re-engagement?

Details of oral evidence sessions will be released in the autumn. The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is 26th September.

The BES submitted a response to the initial inquiry on the Natural Environment White Paper, announced by the Committee in May. The Committee heard oral evidence on 29th June: read a summary on the BES blog.