IEMA Members have said that the incoming UK Government must take a more strategic approach to rebuilding the UK’s natural capital in order to ensure delivery of critical national infrastructure – critical to the recovering economy - does not come at the cost of already fragile natural environments.

From 646 Members polled this month, 92% said that “significant new effort is needed” to improve and reverse the UK’s current rate of loss of biodiversity and natural habitats. 89% say that the swift introduction of a new Nature and Wellbeing Act is the solution to the issue and would enshrine a much-needed strategic approach in law.

88% of IEMA’s respondents said that natural environment valuation should be given a more prominent role in nationally significant decision-making, and that the next Government should strengthen the role of the Natural Capital Committee, increasing its responsibilities and resourcing so that it sits on a par with the Committee on Climate Change which was launched in 2008.

Nick Blyth, IEMA’s Lead on Sustainability, Climate Change and the Natural Environment says that taking a more strategic approach to managing and protecting the UK’s natural capital is about “valuation, not monetisation” of the UK’s land, rivers, wildlife and coastline: “The UK is in the privileged position of still having a wealth of natural capital which makes a real contribution to our recovering economy. However, if we are to retain our natural assets and wildlife, the next Government must be the first Parliament to create a Nature and Wellbeing Act” said Blyth.

IEMA’s results also found:

· 84% of Members back a call for Government intervention to create new partnerships between providers and beneficiaries of ecosystem services to generate landscape scale enhancement for catchments, soils and habitats across the UK.

· Only 23% believe that Public Authorities are actively addressing their duty to demonstrate regard for conserving biodiversity in all their actions.


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