Cookie Policy

We use cookies to make our website effective and useful for you. To continue, please accept the use of cookies.

I accept

How we use cookies

Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Mar 2019 right left

    
01
02

Pond & Woodland Management

Sunday 3rd March
Rea’s Wood Antrim
N/A

04
05
06

UN Sustainable Development Goals roundtable discussion: How can the SDGs support voluntary and community organisations’ work?

Thursday 7th March
NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GB
Free to NICVA members

08

Butterfly Conservation NI winter work party – Lagan Meadows

Saturday 9th March
Lagan Meadows, Lagan Valley Regional Park, Belfast
Free

10
11

Unpacking the Consultations: Extended producer responsibility for packaging, deposit return and plastics non–recycled–content tax

Tuesday 12th March
Belfast Metropolitan College, Titantic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9DT
Free

Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Conference 2019

Tuesday 12th March
The Guildhall, Shipquay Place, Derry~Londonderry
See website for details

13

Energy Efficiency in Action – Policy and Practice

Thursday 14th March
The Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Derry~Londonderry BT48 6DQ
Free

Participatory Budgeting Works – What PB can do for Community Planning

Thursday 14th March
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre Conference Centre, Craigavon BT66 6NJ
Free

15
16
17
18
19

Climate Change and the Historic Environment: A view from Scotland

Wednesday 20th March
Old Museum Building, 7 College Square North, Belfast BT1 6AR
£10.00 – £15.00

CEDaR Recorders Days – Limavady

Wednesday 20th March
Magilligan Field Centre, Limavady
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, RSPB Portmore Lough)

Thursday 21st March
RSPB Portmore Lough Nature Reserve, George’s Island Rd, Gawley’s Gate, Aghalee, Co. Antrim BT67 0DW
See website for details

BITC Charity Learning Network

Thursday 21st March
Arthur Cox, Victoria House, 15–17 Gloucester St, Belfast
£295 + VAT

22

Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) Field Skills Training Workshop

Saturday 23rd March
Tollymore Outdoor Centre, Newcastle, Co. Down
£20

Knockbracken Allotments, South Belfast – Fencing

Sunday 24th March
Knockbracken Alltoments
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, WWT Castle Espie)

Sunday 24th March
WWT Castle Espie, 78 Ballydrain Road, Co. Down BT23 6EA
See website for details

Nature Friendly Farmers’ Market

Monday 25th March
The Long Gallery, Stormont
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, Marble Arch Caves, Enniskillen)

Tuesday 26th March
Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, 43 Marlbank Road Legnabrocky, Florencecourt, Enniskillen , Co. Fermanagh BT92 1EW
See website for details

27
28
29

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, Oxford Island, Lough Neagh)

Saturday 30th March
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Annaloiste Road, Lurgan, Craigavon, Co. Armagh BT66 6NJ
See website for details

31
      

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…

ecosystemservices

 

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