IEMA's Digital Journalist Tom Pashby discusses IEMA's CEO Sarah Mukherjee MBE speaking with members of the House of Lords (peers) about the nature and biodiversity implications of land-use change.

The CEO of IEMA (the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), Sarah Mukherjee MBE, has spoken with members of the House of Lords (peers) about the nature and biodiversity implications of land-use change. Sarah spoke as part of a panel, which included representatives of CIEEM (the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management), UKCEH (the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and the University of Oxford.

The committee is exploring demands on land use in England, how these demands may evolve over time, how we utilise land and how land use affects people's lives. These aspects are being considered in relation to the climate and biodiversity emergency, the housing crisis and the cost of living crisis.

During the evidence session, peers asked the panel about green skills and financial support for those working to protect nature and biodiversity, what role multi-disciplinary approaches can play in delivering for nature, how to promote Local Nature Recovery Strategies, and what panellists thought of how to improve the processes for land-use change in England.

Sarah Mukherjee MBE, CEO of IEMA, said:

“It’s great to be able to represent IEMA’s 18,000+ members in parliament, directly delivering our community’s views to policymakers.

“Land use continues to change rapidly in the UK, and with the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises getting worse, it is critical that people and communities have the green skills and resources needed for land-use change to be achieved in ways which are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.”

Ben Kite PIEMA, chair-elect of the strategic policy panel at CIEEM, said:

“Government must take urgent action to bring together all the different threads needed to make its aspirations for tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis achievable.

“This must start with addressing skills gaps, low ecological capacity and funding shortfalls in Defra bodies and planning authorities, who will be the critical actors in making initiatives such as Biodiversity Net Gain successful. Improving collaboration between existing bodies that have a pivotal role in the strategic leadership of these initiatives is key.”

Lord Cameron of Dillington, Chair of the House of Lords Land Use in England Committee said:

“We greatly appreciated the opportunity to hear from Sarah and IEMA, and to benefit from her knowledge and expertise.

“It is clear that nature and biodiversity is of key importance to future planning around land use, so it was very important for the voice of IEMA to be heard. Sarah’s evidence gave us much food for thought as we continue our inquiry.”

The committee are also investigating how democratic mandates can be secured for long-term decisions about the diversity of land use.


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