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Blogs and articles written by Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrants, as well as Honorary Fellows of the Society (HonFSE).

 

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Biodiversity 2020 and the National Biodiversity Network at 20

Posted By Wilma Harper CEnv, 17 June 2020



Chartered Environmentalist, Wilma Harper, Talks to SocEnv 

Tell us about yourself

I’m a Chartered Forester and Chartered Environmentalist. When I retired from the Forestry Commission in 2016 I was keen to use my experience at Board level in non-executive roles in the biodiversity and forestry sectors.

I have been active in the local natural history society and had also become a director of The Wildlife Information Centre, the local biological records centre. I was thus pleased to be appointed a trustee of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Trust.


Bioblitz at Cashel Native Forest. Wilma Harper CEnv

 

What is The National Biodiversity Network (NBN)?

The NBN is the UK’s largest partnership for nature, with over 200 members and more than 235 million wildlife records available through the NBN Atlas. It has been championing the sharing of biological data since 2000. 

As has been highlighted during the current Covid-19 lockdown, many people get great satisfaction from noticing the natural world around them. By recording what people see, it is possible to build up a picture of biodiversity across the country and how it changes through time. These biological records are verified by experts, curated by a wide range of organisations and then aggregated and shared regionally primarily by Local Environmental Record Centres and then nationally in the NBN Atlas.  

Much of the data comes from volunteers and citizen scientists, some of whom are considerable experts in their field.  But sharing and validating the data also requires professional environmentalists, biodiversity scientists and taxonomists whose work underpins this evidence base. Data held on the NBN Atlas is used by a variety of people and institutions from researchers in academia to the government agencies and local authorities in support of their statutory functions. How the data can be used is determined by the data owners who set the licence conditions.


Wood Mouse - Apodemus Sylvaticus. Wilma Harper CEnv

 

How do Chartered Environmentalists fit in?

Chartered Environmentalists come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds but all share a commitment to a code of professional standards and promoting charter level recognition of Environmentalist as a profession. In their daily work they may be carrying out or commissioning the ecological surveys which generate biodiversity data. They are often the decision makers who have to ensure that biodiversity information, including the data collated by the NBN, is part of the evidence base for major development projects.  


Evidence of Beavers - Aberfeldy. Wilma Harper CEnv

 

What would be your biodiversity message for SocEnv registrants?

I’d like to see more Chartered Environmentalists in the biodiversity sector to give greater recognition of their professional status.

Plus, from my NBN Trust Trustee role, I would encourage Chartered Environmentalists to share the biodiversity data they gather and make full use of the evidence base available - the data curated by the NBN over the last 20 years.

To find out more and help to support the work of the National Biodiversity Network, visit nbn.org.uk


Porcelain Fungus Oudemansiella Mucida on Beech Tree - Morton Lochs. Wilma Harper CEnv

 


 

For more biodiversity case studies, activities and materials, visit socenv.org.uk/biodiversity2020

Tags:  Biodiversity  CEnv  Chartered  For Nature  National Biodiversity Network  NBN  Wilma Harper  World Environment Day  World Environment Day 2020 

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Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv Talks Flood Control on BBC Radio 4

Posted By Phil Underwood, 27 December 2017
Updated: 03 January 2018

Here at the Society for the Environment we are always excited to find and share examples of the work and contributions of Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians, even if it is from a few months or years ago.

With the above in mind, we couldn't help ourselves in sharing this interview with Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv on BBC Radio 4 from March 2016. Carolyn discussed the role of water and environmental sciences in analysing and preventing flooding events, as well as using science in police investigations. 

Listen Here

To listen, simply press play on the audio player above. 

 

BBC Description:

"Barely a month goes by without news of another catastrophic flood somewhere in the world, like the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 or the flooding of New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina a year later, and the role of climate change is often mooted. Here in the UK this winter, flood victims were once again caught in a cycle of despair and anger as they tried to make sense of why their homes were flooded and what could be done to prevent it happening again.

Jim talks to environmental scientist, Professor Carolyn Roberts, who is pre-occupied by problems like this. She applies water science, in particular, to work out why such events occur and the role we humans play in them. Her passion for problem solving in watery places also takes her into the intriguing world of forensics where she assists the police when bodies are found floating in rivers and canals."

Tags:  BBC  CEnv  Chartered  Chartered Environmentalist  Environment  Flooding  Forensics  IES  Interview  pollution  Radio  Science  Water 

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CEnv Registration – What it Means to One ICE Member

Posted By Phil Underwood, 08 August 2017
Updated: 01 February 2018

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) member Kate Cairns CEnv is an Independent Sustainability Advisor based in the North East of England. She was awarded Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) status in June 2017 and took some time to tell ICE about her career and why she chose to apply for CEnv.

"I've always been passionate about the environment and followed my BEng in Civil Engineering from Bristol with an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College. Fresh from this, I worked at WSP on research into passive downdraft evaporative cooling techniques (PDEC) to help cope with rising temperatures and the heat island affect in cities. It was fantastic to work with partners in Spain, Portugal and Israel on such an innovative project; to tackle how we can adapt buildings to deal with increasing global temperatures, still a topical issue two decades later.

Later in my life, my professional mission was greatly influenced by a personal tragedy when my little sister, Eilidh, was run down from behind by a fully laden tipper lorry whilst cycling to work. She died two hours later from catastrophic crushing injuries. I soon learned that my (construction) industry was prevalent in cyclists and pedestrian deaths with a fatality on average once per month under HGV wheels."

A new focus

"50% of cyclist deaths involve an HGV but HGVs make up only 4% of traffic, and twice as many pedestrians are killed by HGVs than cyclists. Tipper lorries, cement mixers and skip lorries are the most lethal; and this is largely due to the massive blind areas all around the cabs.

Having seen the excellent on-site safety culture whilst working at Terminal 5 I set about to change off-site safety culture of the industry launching my See Me Save Me campaign; to eliminate lorry danger through challenging industry, policy and justice.

I went to the European Parliament twice and secured a change to the law (Directive 96/53) in cab design. We also convinced the London Mayor to introduce a Safer Lorry Standard.

I've worked too with industry on a national standard to manage HGV risk (CLOCS – construction logistics and community safety), which is being rolled out across the UK. The CLOCS standard is now included in Northumberland Council's procurement strategy, planning policy and fleet management. I continue to speak at industry events, on national media, TV and radio, and do interviews with trade, national and local press to promote road safety.

With 60% of our children obese or overweight, rising pollution and congestion, active travel is essential in maintaining the health of our populations, cities and planet. Change of off-site safety culture is crucial in assuaging the fears of the public, who say vehicle danger, especially HGV risk, is the biggest deterrent to cycling."

I applied to become a Chartered Environmentalist because…

"…sustainability has been at the heart of my professional and personal life since the beginning. I hate waste, always strive for efficiency and seek out synergies; in materials, energy, effort or time. I grew up on the beautiful wild beaches of Northumberland and have great respect for the ocean, weather, our planet and environment.

I love my job because of the diversity of tasks, projects and clients; and that I contribute to not only improving company practices but to stretching industry standards in safety, sustainability and responsibility. I work to bring out the best in companies and their operations ultimately to make a greater contribution to society through what it is built and how it is built.

Chartered status gives credit to my ambition and expertise in protecting and enhancing our precious and fragile environment. I strongly believe that engineers should not simply "harness the great sources of nature for the use and benefit of man" but should allocate an intrinsic value to its existence.

By attaining CEnv, I think I've also gained respect and credibility from colleagues and clients. It is too soon to say what this means in tangible terms (as I was only awarded the qualification a month ago at time of writing), but it's reassuring to have the recognition of my expertise and experience through this qualification."

What's next?

"My business helps clients in three areas; sustainable construction, safe logistics and equality and diversity or fairness inclusion and respect (FIR).

I have been involved in developing CEEQUAL, a tool for improving sustainability in civil engineering, since inception in 2000, spending eight years on the board of directors, working as a trainer, verifier and assessor, piloting the scheme on the Terminal 5 project and watching those teams then apply it at the Olympics and other major projects. CEEQUAL has recently been bought by BRE, a company with global operations and I am excited about the potential for it to become ubiquitous on an international basis as it gains recognition overseas, and to work on more projects using it.

The industry is now recognising the business risk of not managing off-site safety including cost, reputation, insurance premiums, driver trauma, as well as the human cost. As an expert in this field, I'm looking forward to helping more companies understand the risk and opportunities for their business and implementing policies and practices to ensure they have responsible, safe and sustainable operations.

Finally, I have just been appointed Chair of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Panel and am excited about the movement in this area and having the opportunity to work with industry leaders to bring about change."

» Find out more about becoming a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) through ICE

Source - Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a Licensed Body of the Society for the Environment. 

Author: Kathryn Denham-Maccioni, Marketing Specialist at ICE.

Tags:  CEnv  Chartered  Chartered Environmentalist  ICE  Institution of Civil Engineers 

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