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Natural Environment White Paper - input required

Natural Environment White Paper - input required by 31st January 2011 - see below.

An invitation to shape the nature of England
Our natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, our health and our wellbeing. As a result, protecting the environment and enhancing biodiversity is one of Defra’s top three priorities, as outlined in the Department’s Structural Reform Plan.

A key commitment under this priority is the publication of a White Paper on the natural environment by spring 2011. On 26 July 2010 we published our discussion paper “An invitation to shape the Nature of England”. We invited all comments and submissions from anyone with an interest in the Natural Environment White Paper.

Discussion document summary (PDF 100KB)
Discussion document “An invitation to shape the Nature of England” (PDF 850KB)
This consultation closed on 30 October 2010. We received almost 13,000 responses to our discussion document and short survey from organizations and interested individuals. A summary of these responses will be published here during December 2010. A news release has been published.

Grass roots engagement
We want all interested parties to have a say in shaping the development of the White Paper.

To do this we encourage organisations who already have a relationship with local groups, societies, consumers or individuals, to engage them. For example, NGOs who have local groups or large memberships, civil society organisations who are in touch with local civic groups, and any businesses who wish to engage their consumers on White Paper issues.

Organisations such as these may wish to disseminate the discussion document electronically to encourage grass-roots responses back to their national organisation or direct to with the subject heading “Grass roots engagement”.

We have now published some resources to help your organisation facilitate grassroots engagement. You will find attached a Guide for Facilitators, a Briefing Note for Participants, and a Feedback Form. The deadline for returning the feedback forms from any grassroots engagement is 31 January 2011.

The White Paper on the natural environment will be a bold and ambitious statement outlining the government’s vision for the natural environment, backed up with practical action to deliver that ambition. It represents an opportunity to change the way we think about and manage the natural environment, seeing it as a system and valuing the services it gives us.

We have made significant progress in tackling environmental degradation in the past 20 years, significantly reducing levels of environmental pollution in our air and water and providing protection for our most precious wildlife sites.

However, changing and increasing pressures on our environment continue to cause degradation (which in turn has social and economic impacts) and managing these pressures is becoming more challenging.

A more systematic, strategic approach is needed that brings together a wider range of players, provides new options to tackle these challenges efficiently and effectively. This requires, and will encourage, a wider understanding of the value of the natural environment to society and the economy.

In order to achieve this, the process of developing the White Paper will be accompanied by a wide-ranging process of stakeholder engagement. This Big Society approach to policy development will allow individuals and communities to contribute innovative ideas on how their local environment can be protected and enhanced.

Panel of environmental experts
Richard Benyon has established a panel of environmental experts to advise him in the development of the White Paper.

Members of the Natural Environment White Paper Ministerial Advisory Panel (PDF 150 KB)
Further information
If you require more information on the Natural Environment White Paper, please contact the Natural Environment White Paper team at:

Full details and links: