Nature conservation

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The page will automatically redirect to Nature conservation Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on nature conservation. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

27.10.2016Grouse shooting
Grouse shooting takes place on moorlands managed for the birds. The Government believes that grouse shooting makes a significant economic, social and environmental contribution. However, others are concerned that grouse moor management is leading to environmental damage and the illegal killing of birds of prey. Two public petitions have been launched on this matter, on both sides of the argument. The Petitions Committee took evidence from witnesses on 18 October 2016, and a debate is scheduled for 31 October 2016.
17.07.2015Marine Conservation Zones in England
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
23.01.2015Infrastructure Bill: Invasive species
The Infrasctructure Bill 2014-15 contains new measures to control invasive non-native species. This paper provides an overview of debate on these parts of the Bill for the Commons' Report Stage.
01.12.2014The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England
This note sets out information on the sale of public forests managed by the Forestry Commission
18.07.2012Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member's Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
01.07.2010Marine litter: 'continents' of rubbish
A large amount of plastic is accumulating in large areas of the sea. These areas have been dubbed 'great garbage patches' or 'plastic continents'. The long term environmental impacts of marine plastic pollution are unknown. There are concerns that it may lead to chemical contaminants entering the food chain, although more research is required.
19.07.2009Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report. Bill 137 2008-09.
The Bill would set up a new Marine Management Organisation (MMO); streamline marine licensing; introduce marine planning; reform fisheries management; provide for Marine Conservation Zones; and enable the creation of a route around the English coast.
16.06.2009Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]
The Bill covers a broad range of marine issues and would: (1) set up a new Marine Management Organisation (MMO) under which many of the existing, diverse areas of marine regulation would be centralised; (2) streamline the existing marine licensing system and provide powers to create a joined up marine planning policy; (3) introduce new measures to reform fisheries management; (4) provide a framework for establishing marine conservation zones; and, (5) enable the creation of a route around the English coast.
02.06.2005Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill (Bill 3 2005-06)
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill (Bill 3 2005-06). House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/39
10.10.2002Sustainable development and the 2002 World Summit
Sustainable development and the 2002 World Summit. House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/55.

Lords Library Notes

12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 4: Economic Affairs, Energy, Environment, Local Government and Transport
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.


29.09.2016Rewilding and Ecosystem Services
This POSTnote explores the consequences of increasing the role of natural processes within landscapes. Evidence from the UK and abroad suggests that rewilding can benefit both wildlife and local people, but animal reintroductions could adversely affect some land-users.
15.08.2014Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
The UNFCCC REDD+ scheme aims to promote sustainable forest management in developing countries in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Developed countries are expected to provide finance of approximately $20bn per year from 2020. This POSTnote summarises the extent to which REDD+ could contribute to meeting international climate targets, challenges to its implementation and technologies for tracking its performance
Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
01.06.2011Evidence-based conservation, June 2011
This POSTnote summaries the benefits of, and issues surrounding, an evidence-based approach to conservation management.
01.05.2011Natural capital accounting, May 2011
This POSTnote outlines the need for "environmental accounting" by governments, to maintain the capacity of ecosystems to sustain human well-being at acceptable levels.
01.05.2011The ecosystem approach, May 2011
This POSTnote outlines how the ecostystem approach makes explicit the link between the status of natural resource systems and ecosystem services that support human well-being.

Select Committee Reports

27.10.2009Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation: No hope without forests.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
16.06.2009Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation: No hope without forests.
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
10.02.2009Halting biodiversity loss.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House is concerned that despite the world wide ban on the sale of ivory, there is recent evidence of an increase in demand for illegal ivory; recognises the commendable progress ...
That this House notes with concern the impact which scallop dredging is having on the marine environment; further notes that this practice has only started in recent decades and effectively ...
That this House congratulates East Durham Heritage Coast on its extraordinary achievement in winning the UK Landscape Award 2010; recognises the amazing work of transforming a previous ...
That this House is deeply concerned that the Japanese Government issues quotas for the slaughter of over 18,000 dolphins, porpoises and other whales in coastal waters each year despite ...
That this House believes that the BBC is the world's best and most impartial broadcaster; and opposes any attempt to remove or reduce the licence fee.


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses