Our topical Policy Briefs bring together the ecological evidence on key policy topics in a clear, digestible form.
For more information on a topic, to speak to relevant experts or to suggest a future topic, contact Daniela Russi, Senior Policy Manager.
Our Policy Briefs
General considerations of adaptation indicators: an outline for policy and practice
(140 KB pdf)
This briefing summarises the key findings of a two-day workshop on adaptation indicators held in Cambridge in November 2018, organised by the BES Climate Change SIG with the BTO, Climate Resilience, the Committee on Climate Change, Natural England and the RSPB.
BES-sponsored POSTnote: UK insect decline and extinctions
(764 KB pdf)
Insects provide vital goods and services for wildlife, food production and human health, and their decline threatens important natural processes. Despite some insects being in long-term decline, a few species are showing stable or increasing trends. Insects can respond to interventions quickly.
BES POST fellow (2019) Rebecca Robertson has produced a POSTnote summarising the evidence for insect declines in the UK, the drivers of trends, and interventions to support the recovery of insect populations.
BES-sponsored POSTnote: Climate change and agriculture
(434 KB pdf)
Agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, which has implications for food security.
BES POST fellow (2018) Heather Plumpton has produced a POSTnote examining measures to reduce the impacts of food production and agricultural land use on climate change (mitigation) and to adapt agricultural land use to that change (adaptation).
BES Scottish Policy Brief: Climate Change
(274 KB pdf)
The BES-SPG has produced a briefing for the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill to provide context in terms of the likely impacts of climate change on Scotland’s natural environment.
BES-sponsored POSTnote: UK Fisheries Management
(461 KB pdf)
Following EU withdrawal, the UK will have full responsibility for fisheries policy and management within its waters.
BES POST fellow (2017) Katherine Maltby has produced a POSTnote summarising the science used to inform management, current approaches to EU fisheries, and challenges and opportunities for future UK fisheries management.
BES Policy Brief: 25 Year Environment Plan
(617 KB pdf)
The 25 Year Environment Plan set out by the Government on 11th January 2018 has been met with a mixed response by the environmental community. Its scope and ambition have been praised, both in terms of breath of issues the Plan covers and the ability for long term planning provided by the 25 year timeframe. This has set the Plan apart from previous environmental policies however, concerns have been raised that, in many instances, it does not go far enough and lacks legislative clout. We have tried to highlight the best, worst, and least certain aspects of the Plan in this summary piece. We have concentrated on those issues our members might find most interesting, and on new initiatives, not those in which it is merely proposing to ‘continue support for’ or similar.
BES Policy Brief: 2017 Party Manifestos
(228 KB pdf)
Our Manifesto Briefing provides a breakdown of the main policy pledges, for the 2017 General Election, from the seven main political parties across six policy areas of interest to us and our members.
BES-sponsored POSTnote: Environmental Crime
(358 KB pdf)
Environmental crime is generally used to describe any illegal activity that harms the environment. It can also have serious human health and social impacts.
BES POST fellow (2016) Daniella Rabaiotti has produced a POSTnote outlining the different types of environmental crime and options for tackling them.
BES Policy Brief: Ecology Matters
An Introduction to Ecology for Policymakers
(1 MB pdf)
Why does ecology matter? Ecology matters gives a short introduction to the science of ecology, the impact of ecological research, and what we can offer policymakers.
BES Policy Brief: The Impact of Extreme Events on Freshwater Ecosystems
(930 KB pdf)
This policy brief summarises the Ecological Issues report, and considers the ecological impacts of extreme weather events, especially flooding, and the potential for natural flood management approaches to deliver benefits for both people and biodiversity.
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