Westminster Forum - Natural capital in England (Webinar)

Date: 2nd April 2020

Location: Webinar


This conference will discuss the next steps for natural capital in England, including assessing the value of public goods.

It is timed to take place following anticipated introduction of the full Environment Bill in the next parliament - and will focus on its proposals for:

  • improving air and water quality,
  • restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces, and
  • developing a more sustainable resource and waste management system.

The agenda

Keynote sessions:

  • Policy priorities for implementing the Environment Bill;
  • Examining the practical use of natural capital approaches;
  • Opportunities for developing and introducing Nature Recovery Networks; and
  • Recommendations from the Landscapes Review - the role of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in leading nature recovery.

Panel discussions:

  • Next steps for the protection of natural capital - developing new data-based frameworks, prioritising environmental net gain, and the role of businesses; and
  • Effective utilisation of ecosystem services - examining societal benefits, assessing the financial value and changing environmental regulation.

Case study:

  • Developing a payment system for protecting and improving the natural environment.

With Landscapes Review expecting to publish its recommendations to government this autumn, sessions will examine the potential for extending existing designated areas and creating new ones, and how to further enhance the environment and biodiversity of existing National parks and AONBs.

Delegates will also look at the potential for designated areas to become leaders in Nature Recovery Networks - particularly with councils being required to develop nature recovery strategies.

They will consider how to address the challenges for the development of such networks, including habitat banking, land management and natural capital accounting.

We also expect discussion on the potential challenges of integrating the Government’s net gain criteria into the early planning phases of project design, as well as when considering planning permission applications.

With the Agriculture Bill expected to be reintroduced to Parliament, further sessions look at potential changes to land management processes - such as the move towards a public goods payment system - and the incentives for farmers and landowners to improve the natural environment, including providing the public access to the countryside. 

Delegates will assess the societal and economic benefits of maintaining and improving natural capital across the UK.

Areas for discussion include the potential better uses of natural capital resources such as woodland, water and livestock, as well as the opportunities to engage with businesses to better balance resource use and environmental quality.

Further sessions will examine the priorities for the implementation of the Government’s proposed annual Environment Improvement Plans - including potential challenges for monitoring and data collection - such as the use of natural capital as an indicator for progression in reducing waste, as outlined in the Resource and Waste Strategy.

Keynote Speakers

Edward Barker

Director, Natural Environment, Defra

Professor David Hill

Chairman, The Environment Bank

Andy Croxford

Deputy Director, Environment Agency


Lord Inglewood

Member, Cumbria Local Nature Partnership


Andrew Cook

Executive Director, Environment, Pegasus Group

Professor Rosie Hails

Director, Nature and Science, National Trust

Yvette de Garis

Head, Environmental Engagement, Thames Water

Caroline May

Head of Environment, Health and Safety, Europe, Middle East and Asia and Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright



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