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The Future of Our Natural Environment

Wednesday 26th October 2011, Central London, 09:00 - 16:00

A strong, vibrant natural environment is vital to the protection of the nation?s health, economy and security. Society benefits from the natural environment through ecosystem services, such as the production of food and drinking water, the extraction of minerals for commercial use and natural flood defences. However, as man-made demands on the environment grow, new, more advanced systems of utilising land must be found.

In June 2011, the government released the Natural Environment White Paper, setting out their environmental priorities for the next 50 years. The White Paper contains proposals for new initiatives including the creation of Local Nature Partnerships and Nature Improvement Areas. Local Nature Partnerships will work alongside Local Enterprise Zones to promote the green economy. A central theme throughout the White Paper is the decentralisation of environmental policy. The government intends to create Local Green Areas to empower communities to protect their local environments.

Alongside the Natural Environment White Paper, the government has also published their response to Professor Sir John Lawton?s Review ? Making Space for Nature. Lawton?s review sets out 24 recommendations to achieve a ?coherent and resilient ecological network.' The government have built on Lawton?s findings in the White Paper, announcing plans to create an independent National Capital Committee that will measure the value of the natural environment and how it contributes to the wider economy.

This timely forum will consider the development of the White Paper and how the proposals can be taken forward. The forum will look more widely at the current issues facing our natural environment and UK biodiversity and how the public sector, industry, academia, government and the wider public sector can collaborate to protect the natural environment. Furthermore, sessions will cover the role of technology in promoting the efficient use of natural resources as well as developments in biosciences to protect plant and animal species.

For more informtion, see the Inside Government Website.

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