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.

Soil Health

Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

January 2016

(499 KB pdf)

Our evidence highlighted the vital ecosystem services that soil provides and the need to treat soil as a living organism.

We emphasised the need for a national soil monitoring programme, and suggested that soil be given due prominence in Defra’s 25 year plans for the environment and farming.

Our members Richard Bardgett (Editor, Journal of Ecology), Franciska de Vries (Secretary, Plants, Soils, Ecosystems SIG), Mark Hodson and Stuart Norris also submitted evidence individually. Richard Bardgett was also called to give oral evidence to the committee.

The EAC published its report in June 2016, making extensive use of our evidence.

Download Soil Health pdf

Higher Education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation

January 2016

(609 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response to this consultation, covering the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and reforms to the architecture of higher education in England.

We expressed our support for the principles behind the TEF, but raised concerns at the measures proposed would not achieve its stated aims.

Download Higher Education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice pdf

2015

Genetically Modified Insects

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry

October 2015

(352 KB pdf)

Our evidence highlighted the potential ecological impacts of the release of GM insects, particularly using gene drive methodologies. Our President, Sue Hartley, was invited to give oral evidence on our behalf, and we were cited in the Committee’s final report.

Find our more about our work on Genetically Modified Organisms.

Download Genetically Modified Insects pdf

EU and UK Environmental Policy

Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

October 2015

(267 KB pdf)

We wrote to the Environmental Audit Committee highlighting the relevant points from our response to the House of Lords inquiry on science and the EU, including the importance of EU funding for ecological research, and the framework for applied research provided by European directives.

The EAC published its inquiry report in March 2016, citing our letter.

Download EU and UK Environmental Policy pdf

The Relationship between EU Membership and UK Science

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry

September 2015

(477 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s evidence submission, which highlighted the EU funding available to UK scientists, and the importance of EU structures for collaboration and freedom of movement.

Download The Relationship between EU Membership and UK Science pdf

Fitness Check of EU Nature Legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)

European Commission Consultation

June 2015

(338 KB pdf)

We highlighted that the balance of evidence suggests that the Birds and Habitats Directives are effective, and that the focus should be on improving their implementation. We also contributed to the UK Joint Links response to the Member State consultation.

Find out more about our work on the REFIT Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

 

Download Fitness Check of EU Nature Legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives) pdf

Nurse Review of the Research Councils

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Consultation

April 2015

(177 KB pdf)

Our response to the call for evidence supported the maintenance of separate Research Councils, and highlighted the need for better support for interdisciplinary research.

Download Nurse Review of the Research Councils pdf

NERC Investment Priorities

March 2015

(247 KB pdf)

We highlighted “supporting nature’s services”, “building resilience to nature’s hazards” and “biodiversity monitoring and data” as priority research investments.

Download NERC Investment Priorities pdf

2014

Independent Review of Implementation: RCUK Open Access

Research Councils UK Consultation

September 2014

(70 KB pdf)

We emphasised the important role of learned societies in informing their communities of developments in open access publishing.

Download Independent Review of Implementation: RCUK Open Access pdf

Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision for Science and Research

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation

July 2014

(363 KB pdf)

Our response highlighted the importance of capital investment in long-term ecological research experiments and the vital role of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Download Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision for Science and Research pdf