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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Oct 2021 right left

    

World People Of Nature Day– Green Childhood

Friday 1st October
Online

Winter Migration Festival

Saturday 2nd October
Castle Espie
See event page

03
04

BITCI– The Sustainability Revolution

Tuesday 5th October
Online
Free

Natural Capital Finance & Investment Conference 2021

Wednesday 6th October
Online
Delegate places are £55 per person

Peatlands gathering 2021

Thursday 7th October
Online
Free

08
09
10

One World Festival

Monday 11th October
Mostly online

Do no harm to the environment: translating the EGD into Cohesion Policy 2021–2027

Tuesday 12th October
Online
Free

Rising seas and climate change with Dr Asha de Vos

Tuesday 12th October
Online
Free

Heritage on the Ground

Tuesday 12th October
Online
Free

Sustainable Peatlands: A Win for All

Wednesday 13th October
Online
Free

Natura 2000 logo for goods and services – supporting nature and people for a sustainable recovery

Wednesday 13th October
Online
Free

Floodplain Meadows Partnership Conference 2021

Wednesday 13th October
Online
0–£25

NI Waste Expo 2021

Thursday 14th October
Titanic Belfast
Non–qualified individuals are subject to a £250 attendance cost.

NorthernIreland2035– Common Purpose

Thursday 14th October
Online
Free

15

Cave Hill Fungal Foray

Saturday 16th October
Belfast Castle
Free

17

“The Climate Crisis is a Human Rights Crisis”

Monday 18th October
Online
Free

Nature Means Business Online Conference

Tuesday 19th October
Online
£5.98

Nature Means Business

Tuesday 19th October
Online
£5.98

Practicing Food Sovereignty in the Climate Emergency

Tuesday 19th October
Online
Free

Young Trustees in the Environmental Sector

Tuesday 19th October
Online
Free

Mapping a Just Energy Transition in NI

Wednesday 20th October
QUB Great Hall
Free

The Year of Youth Climate Action: COP26 and Your Role

Wednesday 20th October
Online
Free

Legislating for Climate Action on the Island of Ireland

Thursday 21st October
Online
Free

Belfast City Council ‘Go Social’ Virtual Bus Tour – Destination: North West

Thursday 21st October
Online
Free

22
23
24

Just Zero – a Virtual Conference on Financing the Just Transition

Monday 25th October
Online
Free

26

Social Enterprise and the Digital Economy

Wednesday 27th October
Online
Free

Agriculture and Climate Change: A Countryside COP event

Wednesday 27th October
Online
Free

Climate Resilience Heritage Summit

Wednesday 27th October
Online
Free

Nature Connection, Rewilding and Ecotherapy

Wednesday 27th October
22 University Square
Free

The Social Enterprise Rural Forum

Wednesday 27th October
Online
See ticket types

How can the island of Ireland best contribute to COP–26?

Thursday 28th October
Online
Free

29
30

UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – Glasgow 2021

Sunday 31st October
Glasgow

      

Natural Capital has gained a new status in UK environmental policy and is considered integral to the delivery of DEFRA’s 25 Year Environment Plan. Natural capital assessments have been championed as an efficient, practical and readily understandable approach to supporting more effective policy and investment decisions…

Sunflower-with-Bee-Oliver-Hellowell

(Image: Sunflower with Bee) With particular thanks to Oliver Hellowell, Professional Landscape & Wildlife photographer (who just happens to have Down Syndrome) www.oliverhellowell.com

Natural capital is defined as “...elements of nature that directly or indirectly produce value or benefits to people, including ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes and functions” (UK Natural Capital Committee, 2014). These benefits (often referred to as ecosystem services) include food production, regulation of flooding and climate, pollination of crops, and cultural benefits such as aesthetic value and recreational opportunities. Using a natural capital assessment (figure 1), it is possible to understand the extent and condition of those assets, so the flow of ecosystem service benefits from those assets can be established and valued.

 

NC-Graphic

Fig 1: The Natural Capital Assessment Approach

The natural capital approach demonstrates the value of the natural environment to society and the importance of investing in and protecting our finite stock of natural assets. Yet not all the values associated with nature can be monetised, which presents an ongoing challenge for the way in which natural capital tools and methodologies are developed. However, the approach has great potential to advance the way in which the value of nature and our long–term prosperity is reflected in decision–making. 

Natural Capital Pilots

With natural capital commitments featured in the Draft NI Programme for Government, the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has supported NIEL to commission pilot natural capital assessments and assess how the natural capital approach can move from policy into practice. This policy agenda specifically responds to the guidance offered by the UK Natural Capital Committee (2017) which recognises the need for ‘pioneer projects to test different initiatives’ which can help move the natural capital agenda ‘from aspiration to practical delivery’.

The first pilot project successfully applied the natural capital approach to two urban sites in Northern Ireland, namely Bog Meadows and Minnowburn. As well as advancing the understanding of the importance and practicalities of undertaking Natural Capital assessments, the pilots reveal the range and scale of benefits that these areas, and those who manage them, provide to the public. The second pilot project applied a natural capital approach to CAFRE owned and managed farms.

The reports from both pilots can be viewed here:

Interserve Consulting – Natural Capital Assessment in Northern Ireland: Rural Study – Report

Dr Jim Rouquette et al – Natural Capital Assessment in Northern Ireland: Urban Study – Presentation

Dr Jim Rouquette et al – Natural Capital Assessment in Northern Ireland: Urban Study – Report

Prof Paul Leinster – Accounting for the environment in Northern Ireland – Presentation

The Way Forward

The natural capital approach is straightforward and transparent and can have a powerful and positive influence on decision–making. First, natural capital assessments can inform the development of investment plans for strategic locations. Second, they can inform development and land use–planning decisions through their integration into Local Development Plans and policies, helping to determine the most appropriate locations for development. Third, they can form part of a natural capital and biodiversity net gain policy to ensure all new developments achieve net benefits for people and the environment. Finally, assessments could inform the calculation of agricultural support payments, which is timely in the context of Brexit.

A new tool to protect and make better use of natural capital

Natural Capital Investment Plan for Surrey

DEFRA – Urban Pioneer

Links

Blog: Embedding a Natural Capital Approach; from Policy to Practice

Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces – Measuring their economic and wellbeing value to individuals

Manchester’s urban natural capital pioneer project

www.gov.uk/government/groups/natural-capital-committee

www.naturalcapitalireland.com

naturalcapitalscotland.com

ecosystemsknowledge.net

Other Reports

Accounting for Nature: A Natural Capital Account of the RSPB’s estate…

Natural Capital Committee – How to do it: a natural capital workbook

Natural Capital Committee – Advice on the 25 year environment plan