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How will environmental policies change after Brexit? Lords to hear evidence

The Select Committee on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 will continue taking evidence for its inquiry on Tuesday 24 October. The Committee will question Professor Dieter Helm of the Natural Capital Committee, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Small Farms Association.

Natural Capital is an approach to nature conservation that recognises the wide-ranging goods and services we obtain from the natural world—food, water and timber, but also air and water purification, flood prevention and social and psychological benefits. Natural capital accounting is an emerging discipline that seeks to put a monetary value on these so they can be taken into account in cost-benefit analyses.

The Natural Capital Committee is an independent advisory committee that provides expert, independent advice to Government on the state of England's natural capital.

At 11:05am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Professor Dieter Helm CBE, Professor of Economic Policy, University of Oxford and Chairman of the Natural Capital Committee

Topics which are likely to be covered include:

  • What natural capital is and how its value can be calculated
  • Whether the natural capital approach would enhance or weaken the protections afforded by current nature conservation and legislation
  • Whether local authorities have the capacity and expertise to carry out natural capital accounting effectively at a local level 
  • What changes may need to be made to the UK's governance for nature and conservation after Brexit

The second evidence session will consider the experience of farmers as customers of Natural England and as stakeholders in the process of making policies that will affect rural areas.

At 11:50am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • George Dunn, Chief Executive, Tenant Farmers Association
  • David Trigger MBE, Chairman, Small Farms Association

Topics Likely to be covered include:

  • How well national government has taken account of rural needs in the policy-making process
  • What the Government should do to take proper account of rural communities' needs during the Brexit process
  • Whether provisions of the NERC Act 2006 addressed issues relating to the use of motor vehicles on public rights of way in the countryside

The evidence sessions will begin at 11:05am, Tuesday 24 October in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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