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Topical webinars from the Society for the Environment have umbrella series titles. Each series is split into multiple webinars to provide sub-topic insights based on the umbrella title. The title for series 7 - NATURAL CAPITAL.
In recognition of the cross-sector nature of Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians, our free webinar series provide a spectrum of perspectives to allow environmental professionals to learn from each other, breaking
down knowledge barriers.
The Natural Capital Coalition define natural capital as "the stock of renewable and non-renewable resources (e.g. plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people." But, what does that mean? For an introduction,
head to their website: naturalcapitalcoalition.org.
To learn from environmental professionals using the natural capital model, including case studies, sector reports, good practice and guidance - sign up for each webinar in this series. This webinar is part two.
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Natural Capital In Action
Talk #1: Nature-Based Solutions: A Vignette
Nature-based Solutions (NbS) involve enhancing natural systems to solve society’s problems. Common examples are nature flood management and carbon sequestration. Three are many things to consider when designing NbS, but common problems are:
1. putting the right things in the right places,
2. understanding trade-offs,
3. considering other agendas and aspirations,
4. valuing in some way all the multiple benefits of NbS, and
5. proving that it works.
This talk will discuss these issues, drawing on tales from the frontier to highlight problems and possibly even suggest a few solutions.
By Angus Middleton MSc CEnv, Director at Viridian Logic
Angus has a background in earth sciences and environmental engineering, and has been a director of environmental consultancies for over 15 years. Since 2013 he has strived to improve our understanding of natural capital and make the commercial delivery
of ecosystem services a reality. He has created partnerships between business, universities and NGOs to develop new tools, blending commercial pragmatism with scientific rigour and stakeholder concerns. Angus was recently a member of the Innovation
Advisory Board for NERC and has taken his current business, Viridian Logic, to win many prizes for its work on nature-based solutions.
Angus is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registered with IEMA.
Talk #2: Developing a Natural Capital Approach
Highways England is required as part of our operating licence to “Ensure that protecting and enhancing the environment is embedded into its business decision-making processes and is considered at all levels of operations” (DfT, 2015). At the same time
HM Treasury’s Green Book (2018) sets out guidance on how in appraising projects an understanding of natural capital can provide improved appraisal of the range of environmental effects, encouraging systematic measurement and monitoring of the social
costs and benefits of natural stock use.
Stuart's presentation on Developing a Natural Capital Approach will highlight the work Highways England are doing with Natural England to build natural capital into decision-making, supporting the development and delivery of better outcomes from infrastructure
projects and moving from theory into general use.
By Stuart Wilson CEnv, Environment Team Leader and Principal Advisor, Highways England
Stuart is an ecologist and environmental impact assessment practitioner with over 20 years of infrastructure experience, including road and rail sectors. Within Highways England’s he leads on their approach to the assessment and design of roads projects,
which has seen a full update to the Design Manual for Roads & Bridges (DMRB) completed in 2019, as well as directly authoring standards which include Biodiversity Assessment (LA 108), Biodiversity Design (LA 118) and Habitats Regulations Assessment
(LA 115. Stuart has led the production of the funding case to support delivery of Highways England’s Biodiversity Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in the current roads period (2020-2025) and this is expected to see a significant increase in the scale
of the Environment and Wellbeing funding settlement to support work in this area. As Highways England’s Biodiversity Metric owner, Stuart also leads the development of the programme of biodiversity projects as part of our Environment and Wellbeing
designated funds. Finally he provides technical direction on the use of biodiversity metrics and natural capital assessment to help ensure that protecting and enhancing the environment is embedded into Highways England’s business decision-making processes.
Stuart is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registered with CIEEM.
Natural Capital Webinar Series
The natural capital webinar series is split into five parts. View recordings or sign up for future webinars by following this link.
Content provided by webinar speakers do not necessarily represent the views of the Society for the Environment.