MPs to probe post-Brexit future of natural environment

The environmental audit select committee has launched a new inquiry into the future of the natural environment in the light of the EU referendum.

Issues to be examined include the future of funding for biodiversity and agri-environment schemes, the likely changes in the devolved administration and the role that managed re-wilding can play in conservation and restoration.  

‘Agricultural landowners are important stewards of the UK’s natural environment,’ said the committee. ‘Financial incentives from the Common Agricultural Policy aim to promote positive actions and outcomes in public goods such as biodiversity, water quality, and flood risk management. These payments represent one of the most important funding sources for environmental schemes in the United Kingdom.  

‘With the UK poised to the leave the European Union these arrangements may not remain in place – and the government would need to decide whether or not to continue financial support for farmers and agri-environment schemes. We will be investigating how the government’s future policies on agriculture can ensure that protecting the environment remains a key goal.

‘We will also investigate the role that managed rewilding can play in the conservation and restoration of habitats and wildlife, and examine its wider environmental, social and economic impacts.’

Issues to be considered by the inquiry include how future support for UK agriculture should be structured in order to ensure there are incentives for environmentally-friendly land management, how UK agri-environment support should be administered and what outcomes should it focus on.

 Submissions are now invited and should be made by September 9 via the inquiry page.

Photo by Bs0u10e0

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Austin Macauley

Austin Macauley

Editor, Environment Journal

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