Biodiversity net gain: a new duty?

25th October 2017

P8 nick blyth

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Policy



Significant attention is on the development of the government’s 25-year environment plan, which aims to achieve the overall ambition to be “the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it inherited”.

From the content of the plan (setting objectives for 2040), to interfaces with other parts of government, via governance and reporting, there is much to do to bring together a coherent set of actions with performance milestones that will lead to a markedly better environment.

Given the importance of biodiversity, which in many areas is declining, it’s crucial that action is taken to halt biodiversity loss and embed policies that will lead to restoration and enhancement.

In the infrastructure sector, there are positive initiatives helping to address this decline. For example, the government’s road investment strategy states that, by 2020, Highways England must deliver no net loss of biodiversity, and that by 2040 it must deliver a net gain. East West Rail has a commitment to “delivering a measurable net biodiversity gain and positively contributing to the conservation of nature in the region”. Some construction and housebuilding companies also now have similar commitments.

As the application of biodiversity net gain gets translated into practical application, supported by initiatives such as the joint principles developed by IEMA, CIRIA and CIEEM – Biodiversity Net Gain: Good Practice Principles for Development – the question is whether a duty should be placed on developers to require this in the future. Also, as natural capital accounting tools become better established, should developers be required to deliver wider net-positive natural capital too?

Nick Blyth policy and engagement officer at IEMA @nblythiema


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

IEMA reviews political party manifestos

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

While biodiversity net gain is now making inroads, marine net gain is still in its infancy. Ed Walker explores the balance between enabling development and safeguarding our marine environment

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

Joe Nisbet explores the challenges and opportunities of delivering marine net gain through offshore renewables

31st May 2024

Read more

In January, the Welsh government consulted on a proposed white paper, 'Securing a Sustainable Future: Environmental Principles, Governance and Biodiversity Targets for a Greener Wales'.

31st May 2024

Read more

What is the role for nature in the Climate Change Act? Sophie Mairesse reports

20th May 2024

Read more

Gillian Gibson calls for urgent action to avoid environmental tipping points

20th May 2024

Read more

Getting ready for deforestation-free regulations. Allison Kopf takes a look at new laws in the EU and UK

17th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close