Natural Environment White Paper - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Contents

1  Introduction

Our inquiry

1. In June 2011, the Government published The Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature—the first White Paper on the natural environment for twenty years.[1] Its central theme is that a healthy, properly functioning natural environment is the foundation of sustained economic growth, prospering communities and personal wellbeing. The White Paper argues that this is why the economic and social benefits of a healthy natural environment should be properly valued, while continuing to recognise nature's intrinsic worth.[2]

2. On 14 July 2011, we announced our inquiry to examine the policies in the White Paper.[3] We received 70 written submissions and held six oral evidence sessions, hearing from a range of organisations and individuals including the farming industry, the construction industry, NGOs and charities, local authorities and planners, and from Ministers from HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).[4] In addition the Committee visited the Republic of Costa Rica in February 2012 and Pevensey in East Sussex in March 2012. We are grateful to all who gave us evidence in writing or in person.

1   Defra, The Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature, Cm 8082, June 2011 (Referred to as 'NEWP' in this report) Back

2   As above Back

3   Terms of reference can be found in the Committee's press statement at Back

4   Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, Minister of State, Cabinet Office (responsible for Government policy advice) and Chloe Smith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury; Richard Benyon, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries (Defra) Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 17 July 2012