Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) has been used as a valuable tool since the publication of initial guidance in 2006. Now, ten years on, an update to this guidance has been published by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
Ecosulis recently attended the Oxford University 2015 Biosymposium 2015 which focused on the functions and values of biodiversity. This subject has a wide expanse of viewpoints and information associated with it, from biologists and biochemists, to economist and philosophers. Flooded with information and lively debate from all viewpoints, the symposium supported an array of debate and discussion on the subject. This can make it quite difficult to see a way forward, and a way to make a difference.
The rapid progress of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was clearly demonstrated to attendees of the Europe and Central Asia plenary meeting in Basel 22-23 September. Whilst most attendees were government representatives, Dr Alan Feest from Ecosulis attended as a recognised researcher on the measurement of biodiversity.
OK, so money doesn’t physically grow on trees but thanks to Natural Capital Accounting methods natural habitats including trees, woodlands, and other habitats are increasingly being given a value. This value is referred to as Natural Capital and aims to assess the value of natural habitats to inform economic decisions. For example, woodlands have value on both a social and biodiversity level, as well as value for carbon storage and timber production. We all know that green open spaces have value. Quantifying this indicates its natural capital.
Recently Defra has published the “Natural Environment White Paper Implementation Update” (or NEWP). This looks at the progress that has been made since the last White Paper that was produced in December 2012 and the steps that the government has made to improve natural environments.
The paper notes a number of improvements including-
During the 7th to the 8th June the first GLOBE Natural Capital Summit took place at the German Bundestag. This event sees legislators from 25 different countries in one place to discuss laws, budgets and policy proposals.
Ecosulis’s Scientific Advisor Dr Alan Feest has been appointed by the University of Cambridge’s Sustainability Leader programme to produce a casestudy into the externalities of corn production (for food and biofuels).
Biodiversity has been defined (CBD 1992, Article 2) as:
“the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.