Presentation on theme: "UK National Ecosystem Assessment"— Presentation transcript:
1 UK National Ecosystem Assessment progress and productsRobert BradburneDefraMarch 11th 2010
2 Summary (English) context for the National Ecosystem Assessment Structure and objectives of the National Ecosystem AssessmentProgress and outputs to dateChallenges aheadPreparing for the outputs
3 PSA28: Secure a healthy natural environment for today and the future Paving the way for the NEA: The Public Service Agreement on the Natural EnvironmentPSA28: Secure a healthy natural environment for today and the futureThis means:Air free from harmful levels of pollutantsSustainable water useLand and soils managed sustainablyBiodiversity valued, safeguarded and enhancedClean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seasPeople enjoying the natural environmentVision“To secure a diverse, healthy and resilient natural environment, which provides the basis for everyone’s well-being, health and prosperity now and in the future; and where the value of the services provided by the natural environment is reflected in decision-making”New message for the whole of governmentLinks to human health and wellbeingDelivered through an ecosystems-based approachMany departments are delivery partners.
4 Taking an ecosystems approach to policy and decision making A more strategic, integrated approach to the natural environmentValuing the full range of benefits that the natural environment providesEnsuring environmental limits are respectedAdaptive management to respond to changing pressures,Decisions taken at appropriate spatial scalesIdentifying and involving all relevant stakeholdersHealthy ecosystems maintained and enhancedSustainable flows of ecosystem servicesBalanced use of natural resourcesAnd an ecosystems approach is a way to raise our game.We published “Securing a healthy Natural env” in December, and it builds on the work done in the Millennium Assessment and the work of the CBD to derive five core principles of what we consider an ecosystems approach to be.And what they lead to.Note the action plan does not seek to impose a single, rigid definition of an ecosystems approach,Our intention is to promote a generic approach that can be applied in a range of policy areas and decision making contexts, based on a number of core principles.Need that fleixbility: allows us to open more doors. Environmental management may need all principles, others, e.g., OGDs may benefit from parts, e.g., valuation.
5 The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) is the first analysis of the UK’s natural environment in terms of the benefits it provides to society and our continuing prosperity.Part of the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) initiative, it is an inclusive process involving individuals and institutions with a wide range of perspectives, in Government, academia, NGOs and the private sector.
6 Why Undertake the NEA now? Evidence of changeThe Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) reported on widespread change to ecosystems worldwide in the last fifty years, with increases in benefits to many people, but degradation of ecosystem services adversely affecting others.Natural England reported in 2008 that England has less natural diversity than 50 years ago and that it is still under pressure.Pressures on our natural environment are changing – climate change and other pressures are predicted to alter many aspects of our land, water and seas over the next fifty years.
7 What will the NEA do? New solutions and new stakeholders “The UK NEA will help people to make better decisions that impact on the UK’s ecosystems to ensure the long-term sustainable delivery of ecosystem services for the benefit of current and future populations in the UK”New solutions and new stakeholdersThe NEA will:Produce an independent and peer-reviewed National Ecosystem Assessment for the whole of the UK.Raise awareness of the importance of the natural environment to human well-being and economic prosperityEnsure full stakeholder participation and encourage different stakeholders and communities to interact and, in particular, to foster better inter-disciplinary co-operation between natural and social scientists, as well as economists
8 People involved in the NEA A diverse group of academics, consisting of natural scientists, economists and social scientists, form the 27-member Expert Panel. This is chaired by Professor Robert Watson and Professor Steve AlbonA wide range of public, private and third sector decision-makers andstakeholders form a User Group200 authors from more than 50 academic institutions, government agencies and NGOs, managed by a group of Co-ordinating Lead Authors.The organisations that commissioned the UK NEA form the Client Group.Co-ordinating all the different assessment activities is an independent Secretariat, provided by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).
9 NEA timeline Release of progress and plans for 2010 – 22 February 2010 Full external review of the chapters on ecosystems and ecosystem services - 4 May – 15 June 2010Finalisation of ecosystem and ecosystem services assessment – end September 2010Valuation, scenarios and response options work completed – September 2010External review – September/October 2010Release of findings – February 2011
11 Ecosystems Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains Urban Marine Coastal marginsMountains, moors and heathlandsSemi-natural grasslandsEnclosed farmlandWoodland
12 Ecosystem services Supporting services Provisioning services soil formationnutrient cyclingwater cyclingprimary productionProvisioning servicesfoodfibrefuelbio-materialswaterRegulating servicesclimatehazard control (flood/erosion)pests & diseasepollinationpollution (noise/toxic)air/soil/water qualityCultural servicesaestheticcultural heritage/ sense of placeeducationhealthrecreationspiritual/religioustourism12
13 Biodiversity in the NEA Biodiversity is considered in the NEA through its roles of:Supporting ecosystem processes: biodiversity may play a role in the dynamics of ecosystem services, e.g., in nutrient cycling or rates of decompositionProviding genes and species: some species and the genetic variability within them contribute directly to valuable goods, e.g., the use of genetic diversity in wild crop and livestock relatives contributing to breeding programmes, and this increase in genetic diversity can increase resistance to the spread of diseaseIts value to people: people gain direct personal benefits from the appreciation of wildlife and scenic places and biodiversity also has further spiritual, religious and education value13
14 Valuing the benefits we get from our ecosystems
15 Challenges for 2010The NEA is now looking forwards to assess how ecosystems might change in future.Challenges include:Producing relevant, internally consistent and quantifiable scenarios with which to assess possible change to ecosystem services in futureIncorporating both economic and non-economic forms of value into the assessment of ecosystem changeDeveloping a suite of societal response options in light of the future scenarios
16 NEA weblinksFurther information (including how to get involved) can be found at:Recent outputs and other communications materials can be found at:
17 Preparing others for the outputs of the NEA Helping others to understandThe natural environment narrative“Recovery, Growth and the Environment”The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity“Delivering a healthy natural environment”Other “points of view” articles
18 Preparing others for the outputs of the NEA Working out what you should considerIdentifying prioritiesCase studies and examples of applicationEnvironmental Limits resourcesBuilding the evidence/monitoring base
19 Preparing others for the outputs of the NEA Valuing the environmentIntroductory Guide to the Valuation of ecosystem servicesValue Transfer guidelinesData sources – the EVRI databaseIncorporating valuation into other appraisal toolsParticipatory and Deliberative Techniques