Scanning for legislative issues related to ecology and conservation

Being aware of upcoming issues and potential developments in policy is important for those working across all spheres of ecology and conservation. It allows researchers to understand the impact any changes may have on their work and engage in consultation processes. Practitioners and others will be able to plan ahead to put some of these changes in practice. A yearly legislative scan published in the BES Bulletin is now available on our website for academics, practitioners, and others to make use of.

For the past 4 years a group of policy specialists from NGOs and Government organisations have come together to produce a scan of forthcoming legislation of interest to ecologists and conservationists. Convened by the current BES President Professor Bill Sutherland, the scan looks at legislation from the devolved nations of the UK through to a global level. Major changes expected in 2014 include:

  • The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) work programme will begin to be implemented. JNCC are currently looking for nominations from experts to scope specific deliverables;
  • “Delivery and implementation” of major reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy in Europe, which were agreed in 2013;
  • Government response to the biodiversity offsetting in England consultation, which closed at the end of 2013. The Government is currently considering a range of proposals, and a policy decision is expected in 2014;
  • The Referendum in Scotland on 18 September, which is expected to dominate the political and environmental agenda. Implications of independence for the environment are expected to be considered by several Westminster and Scottish Parliamentary Committees.

See the legislative scan for a full list of issues that are on the horizon this year.