The UK government today published a Natural Environment White Paper outlining its vision for the natural environment for the next 50 years. While much of the Paper focuses on protection and enhancement of nature, there are also significant proposals for linking enhancement of nature with business activity. Among these are:
- offsets for biodiversity, allowing development of sites with high biodiversity if the biodiversity of other sites is enhanced;
- phasing out sale and use of peat;
- strengthening local public health activities which connect people with nature;
- an independent Natural Capital Committee to make recommendations on how to put the value of nature at the heart of the Government’s economic thinking, reporting to the Government’s economic affairs committee chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister).
- an annual statement of government green accounts; and
- a task force chaired by the CEO of Kingfisher Group, Europe’s largest home improvement retailer, to expand the UK business opportunities from new products and services which are good for the economy and nature alike.
The White Paper, along with the recently published UK National Ecosystems Assessment, can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the press release at http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/06/07/natural-environment/