OEP welcomes Lords Committee report on protected sites

The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee has today (Wednesday, 26 July) published a report following an inquiry on protected sites. OEP CEO Natalie Prosser has welcomed the publication of the report and highlighted our own interest in the laws around these sites.

Natalie Prosser, CEO of the OEP, said: “Nature is in serious decline in the UK and there is an urgent need to act. Protected sites have an important role to play in turning this around and ensuring that government can meet its ambitions for the environment. But recent decades have seen little progress in expanding the protected sites network or improving its condition.

“We welcome the Environment and Climate Change Committee’s inquiry report on protected areas and will consider its findings in detail as we carry out our own work looking into similar issues. We note that the Committee concludes that a delivery action plan is needed to show how government will meet its international and domestic commitments to effectively conserve and manage for nature 30% of land, inland water and sea. We support this conclusion. In our first report on government’s progress against its EIP, published in January, we found that the government was not demonstrably on track to achieve its ambitions and identified the need for clear and cohesive delivery plans to drive forward much needed change.

“The scope of our own review in this area covers the designation and management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) on land and freshwater in England and Northern Ireland. We are carrying out independent analysis of how effective the laws around these sites are in achieving their objectives, looking for what works well and what can be improved.

“We aim to publish our work in Spring, setting out evidence-based findings and recommendations to inform future development and implementation of legislation around protected sites. The Committee’s report will also help inform our annual progress report on government’s Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP), which will include an in-depth look at progress against plans and targets to improve nature.”

The Committee’s report can be found here: Protected Areas - Committees - UK Parliament

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