Consultation & Inquiry Responses
We regularly respond to government consultations and parliamentary inquiries on a range of environmental and scientific topics, individually or in partnership with other organisations. We focus on synthesising and communicating the relevant ecological evidence, and representing the views of the ecological community.
Submitting high-quality responses relies on the expertise of our members. If you would like to contribute to consultations and inquiries, please register on our Interests and Expertise Database, or contact Brendan Costelloe, Policy Manager.
BES Scottish Policy Group response to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill
(297 KB pdf)
Our approach is to provide context in terms of the likely impacts of climate change on Scotland’s natural environment. This shows why urgency is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and why adaptation as part of the Climate Change Plan is as important as mitigation to protect Scotland’s biodiversity, ecosystems and habitats.
BES Scottish Policy Group response to the Scottish Government's consultation: Support for agriculture and the rural economy - post Brexit transition
(378 KB pdf)
This consultation is the start of the Scottish Government’s process to develop a new rural support policy for Scotland. It presents both an opportunity and a challenge to create a sustainable agricultural system that is better balanced for farming, food production, the countryside, wildlife, and the delivery of public goods. Public goods connected to the environment include for example, clean air and water, healthy and stable soils, improved/enhanced carbon sequestration, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
BES response to the Changing Arctic inquiry
(424 KB pdf)
Our response explained how climate change is shifting the Arctic to a ‘new normal’, characterised by a warmer, wetter and more variable environment and reduced volume of the sea and land-based ice. Climate change also interacts with other major threats to Arctic ecosystems, including pollution, invasive alien species, industrial development and local disturbances. These environmental pressures are driving major physical and ecological change.
BES response to the Work of Defra: Health and Harmony inquiry
(430 KB pdf)
The BES welcomes the Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit consultation as an opportunity to reshape England’s land management policies. A move away from incentives which primarily prioritise provisioning services from the environment, such as food and fibre, towards incentives which also include regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services, such as disease and pest regulation and soil formation, will provide a better outcome for both people and wildlife.
BES response to Brexit: Plant and Animal Biosecurity Inquiry
(389 KB pdf)
We believe there is the potential to reduce biosecurity threats to the UK through implementing better targeted, resourced, and stricter biosecurity rules and regulations.
BES response to the Work of the Rural Payments Agency inquiry
(418 KB pdf)
We believe the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) delivery of Agri-Environment Schemes should foster greater cooperation and collaboration between stakeholders to help deliver greater benefits for biodiversity and ecological services. Our response highlights how the RPA can put the environment at the heart of its work.
BES response to the Environmental Audit Committee 25 year plan to improve the environment inquiry
(351 KB pdf)
Our response welcomed such a broad plan for the environment but highlighted that there were many unmeasurable and unambitious targets and that without legislation underpinning the intentions set out in the plan, it is unlikely to be enforced.
EEA workers in the UK labour market
(187 KB pdf)
We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response, which highlighted uncertainty over continued rights of EEA workers in the UK, issues over rights and status, the inflexibility of the current system, and the potential impact of immigration changes on the UK biosciences and industrial strategy.
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act
A response to the House of Lords NERC Act Committee
(348 KB pdf)
Our response highlighted the impact and limitations of the biodiversity duty introduced by the 2006 NERC Act, and how this could be amended in light of current understanding of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as the legislative challenges posed by Brexit.
UK's role in Arctic sustainability
House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry
(412 KB pdf)
Our response focused primarily on highlighting the significant environmental changes that are taking place in the Arctic, across both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, predominantly as a result of climate change.