The future for policy on biodiversity and natural capital in the UK

Date: 21st April 2016

Location: Central London

Guests of Honour: Dr Laure Ledoux, Deputy Head of Unit, Biodiversity, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission and Shirley Trundle, Director, Countryside and Nature, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Timed to follow the publication of the EU’s 'Fitness Check’ on key conservation directives in early 2016, this seminar will provide a timely opportunity to assess the Biodiversity 2020 targets in the UK. It comes in the context of the global agreement on long-term climate change targets at the COP 21.

Delegates will discuss the latest progress made towards achieving these targets and next steps for Government policy, such as the new ‘Open Environment’ initiative, announced in a speech delivered by the Environment Secretary, which aims to improve the use of data and technology in environmental monitoring and will be developed further over the next 12 months. They will also consider the next phase of the Natural Capital Committee’s work, following the manifesto commitment to extend its life to the end of the current Parliament and to develop a ‘25 Year Plan’ to restore UK biodiversity.

Further planned sessions will also evaluate funding opportunities available to conservation schemes following the announcement of a £4.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Back from the Brink’ partnership project that aims to protect more than 100 species against extinction, in addition to the priorities for conservation planning as part of large infrastructure projects and the development of urban green spaces.

We are pleased to include keynote addresses from Dr Laure Ledoux, Deputy Head of Unit, Biodiversity, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission; Shirley Trundle, Director, Countryside and Nature, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Pete Fox, Director of Water, Land and Biodiversity, Environment Agency; Dr Andy Fraser, Head of Natural Resource Management, Welsh Government; Professor David Hill, Deputy Chair, Natural England and Chair, Environment Bank; Cathy Myatt, Environment Manager, Crossrail and Kerry ten Kate, Director, Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program, Forest Trends and former Member, Natural Capital Committee.

Further confirmed speakers include Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director, National Trust; Will Evison, Assistant Director, Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC; Suzanne Goodfellow, Chair, Natural Devon - the Devon Local Nature Partnership; Martin Harper, Conservation Director, RSPB; David Lowe, Principal Ecologist, Warwickshire County Council; David McCabe, Innovation and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Tarmac; Helen Meech, Director, Rewilding Britain and Julia Thrift, Head of Projects and Events, Town and Country Planning Association.

Richard Benyon MP, Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Biodiversity have kindly agreed to chair this seminar.

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