Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) offer an excellent opportunity for local people to drive local priorities for nature and habitats conservation, but their resources are under pressure and there is a mixed performance record between individual LNPs, the Environmental Audit Committee warns.
Where LNPs have been successful, they have demonstrated the benefits of local engagement, harnessing enthusiasm in finding solutions to local priorities. Where they have not been successful, the solution is not to impose additional tasks but to re-energise the unfocussed local commitment.
Chair of the Committee, Joan Walley MP, said:
“Many LNPs are starved of funding and resources, meaning much of the good work in getting them up and running, is being undone. The whole country—urban as well as rural—need the natural environment protections that LNPs can provide. Rather than leave under-performing LNPs to wither away, the next Government should urgently review LNPs and their funding, and re-energise the initiative.”
LNPs were a commitment in the Government’s 2011 Natural Environment White Paper. Following an application and assessment period in 2012, 48 LNPs have now been established across England, though coverage is not universal.