Catchment Futures - Living within environmental limits

Related projects
Defra has commissioned several projects and case studies on the ecosystems approach
Inventory study on natural environment data 2 (NR0106)
The overall aim of the project is to review the social and economic quantitative and qualitative evidence base for assessing the state of England's terrestrial ecosystems using an Ecosystem Approach. The 'evidence base' refers to data, analyses and stakeholder views and will complement and build upon the natural environment evidence base specified in Phase 1 of NEP (Natural Environment Programme). The project will be managed by ADAS UK Ltd.
England terrestrial ecosystem services and the rationale for an ecosystems approach (NR0107)

Government policies that protect the natural environment are diverse but lack the inegration required to provide a sustainable future. A different approach to policy development and implementation is required to achieve sustainable patterns of economic and social development and to meet the goals set by both the UK's Strategy for Sustainable Development.

The United Nation's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment not only recognised the multiple benefits that ecological systems provide, but realised that policy and planning decisions must also take into account an ecosystem approach (EA). The EA provides a way in which the overall health and integrity of ecosystems can be assessed and the multiple benefits society derives from them be better described and managed.

This project will initially establish and agree what an ecosystem approach involves and how it can be used to make assessments of the benefits that ecosystems provide at the national, regional and local scales. The work will link closely with the other concurrent Defra funded projects. The project will be managed by ADAS UK Ltd in partnership with the Centre for Environmental Management (CEM) at the University of Nottingham who will co-ordinate and lead the scientific contributions. Expert input will be provided by a number of organisations and international reviewers.

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An assessment of the economic value of England terrestrial ecosystem services (NR0108)
This study will estimate the benefits derived from the “ecosystem services” provided by the terrestrial ecosystems of England, such as woodlands, rural landscapes, rivers and moorlands. Ecosystem services are the processes by which the natural environment produces resources that are useful to people, including goods like timber and fish, and services such as purifying water, pollinating crops and providing a natural defence against flooding. Indeed, at a fundamental level, natural ecosystems perform critical life-support services upon which human civilization depends.
Case study - Thames Gateway Green Grids (NR0109)
The purpose of this project is to assess the types of ecosystem services provided within a particular case study area undergoing extensive urban regeneration and how best they can be evaluated within current land use planning and decision-making frameworks. The study area selected is Kent Thameside, a key development area of the Thames Gateway Growth Area within the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. The area is one already under some considerable constraints, e.g. in terms of water resource availability, flood risk, air quality, transport and biodiversity.
Case study - M6 Link (NR0110)
This case study looks retrospectively at a regionally important infrastructure development - the Heysham M6 link in Lancashire for which a planning application has recently been made. The case study seeks to answer two questions. 1. How well does the procedure that has been followed for the proposed Heysham M6 link deliver the EA? 2. To what extent can the information collected to assess the impact of the Heysham M6 link, together with other information already available, be used to successfully use the EA?
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