Environment Secretary launches new UK NEA follow-on phase

Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, announced the Follow-on Phase of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) in her speech at the Planet Under Pressure conference (26-29 March 2012) in London.

UNEP-WCMC is once again providing the Secretariat for the new phase of the UK NEA, which has recently commenced. The two-year long follow-on project aims to further develop and communicate the evidence base of the UK NEA and make it relevant to decision and policy making at different spatial scales across the UK.

The research component of the follow-on phase will focus on the following four areas:

► The further development of the economic analysis of the UK NEA to increase the breadth of ecosystem services analysed, to broaden our understanding of the value of natural capital stocks and ways in which this value can be better represented in national wealth accounts, as well as analyse the macroeconomic implications of the findings of the UK NEA.

► Further exploration of cultural ecosystem services and how shared and plural values for ecosystem services can be better understood and operationalised into a range of decision making contexts alongside economic analyses.

► Development of the analysis of future ecosystem changes, applying and developing the UK NEA scenarios to enable and enhance the outputs of the other objectives and to examine a range of societal responses to the possible future changes.

► The development and enhancement of tools and other supporting materials for use by a range of key user groups from the public, private and voluntary sectors, to enable them to make best use of this evidence. The balance in emphasis between developing totally new tools or enhancing existing assessment processes will depend upon an initial review of user needs.

For more details on what else the follow-on phase will include and opportunities to get involved in the project please see the UK NEA website.