Our economy and society are hugely reliant on the goods and services provided by nature. By investing in the enhancement of our natural capital we can support a productive economy and healthy communities.
The government’s recently published 25 Year Environment Plan sets out an ambitious vision to improve our natural environment but further detail is needed in a number of areas to ensure its success. Goals are currently high level and should be given a statutory basis and underpinned by interim milestones to ensure that delivery is kept on track.
A number of businesses are already investing in innovative natural capital projects but need a supportive policy framework to underpin their activities and allow action to be scaled up. Government should help unlock new markets for ecosystem services via smart outcomes-focused regulation, fiscal incentives and standards. It must also lead by example by ensuring that all infrastructure projects deliver a net gain in biodiversity.