OEP launches call for evidence on nature recovery

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has launched a call for evidence as part of its scrutiny of Government’s plans and environmental targets for improving nature. 

The 2023 Environment Improvement Plan for England (EIP23) identifies “Improving Nature” and specifically, halting and reversing declines in species abundance, as key objectives of environmental improvement in England. 

This will be a main area of focus in the OEP’s next EIP monitoring report, and is the selected topic for a deep-dive assessment. 
We are currently gathering information from Government to understand their analysis of the ways of achieving the environmental targets, and the barriers and enablers to success. With this call, we are seeking further evidence held by other parties that could support our assessment of progress and opportunities for improvement. 

We aim to establish whether government’s plans and delivery methods will achieve the species abundance targets, and whether they detail and address the major barriers, enablers, synergies, and trade-offs within and across policy areas.

To inform our assessment, we are calling for evidence relating to the type, scale, and pace of interventions required. The review covers terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, but does not extend to the UK Overseas Territories. 
Evidence can include views and / or relevant existing written material (for example, reports and academic literature). 
We are interested, in particular, in the following questions: 

  • Considering the government’s species abundance targets, to what degree do you consider these achievable in England’s terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments? What assumptions affect your consideration of feasibility? 
  • Considering the 8 areas of action set out in EIP23 and other actions, what are the main interventions, or types of interventions, required to achieve the species abundance targets in England’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Regarding these interventions, what scale and pace of deployment is required to achieve success? 
  • What are the enablers and barriers to improving species abundance in the terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environment, and achieving the species abundance targets? 
  • What are the synergies and trade-offs in improving species abundance in the terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments, and achieving the species abundance targets? 
  • What are the key uncertainties and knowledge gaps in assessing the achievability of the targets? 

We will also welcome any other information that people consider is relevant to this review. Please send any evidence to eip.monitoring@theoep.org.uk by Monday 7 August 2023. 

For further information, please see the document available by clicking on the blue button on this page.