Following on from my posts regarding how Brexit may affect the UK’s environmental policies and activities (see here and here) the Government has moved (surprisingly) quickly to begin an inquiry into how leaving the EU may affect issues that [quote] “include the future of funding for biodiversity and agri-environment schemes, the likely changes in the devolved administration, and the role that managed rewilding can play in conservation and restoration”.
I say “surprisingly” because the Government is no doubt focused on what they might see as more pressing concerns; but then much of this inquiry relates to how Brexit might affect biodiversity via subsidies to farmers, and the farming lobby is very powerful of course, and is no doubt pressing Defra to get a move on.
Here’s a link to the inquiry’s official website. From that site I’ve pulled out the following text:
The Environmental Audit Committee invites submissions on some or all of the questions below:
- What are the implications for UK biodiversity of leaving the EU, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy? To what extent do initiatives to support biodiversity in the UK depend on CAP-related payments? What risks and opportunities could developing our own agri-environment policy and funding present?
- How should future support for UK agriculture be structured in order to ensure there are incentives for environmentally-friendly land management? What are the positives/negatives of current schemes (e.g. Countryside Stewardship) that should be retained/avoided?
- How should future UK agri-environment support be administered, and what outcomes should it focus on?
- What are the prospects and challenges for future environmental stewardship schemes in the devolved administrations? How much divergence in policy between the nations of the United Kingdom is likely? How can divergence be managed?
- What are the future risks and opportunities to innovative land practices, such as managed rewilding? What role can rewilding play in conservation and restoration of habitats and wildlife? What evidence is there to support the incentivising of such schemes in any new land management policies?
There is a form for submissions (available on the website) and the deadline is Friday 9th September 2016.
I’ll be submitting a response via the Northamptonshire Local Nature Partnership, and welcome comments and ideas from any readers.