May 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our May newsletter.

  • We are launching a new user-friendly tool for local authorities: estimating the health benefits of trees removing air pollutants -  Webinar, 12 June 2019
  • Evaluation of the 25 Year Environment Plan Pioneers
  • Save the date for the Valuing Nature Annual Conference -  28-29 October 2019, London

A new user-friendly tool for local authorities: estimating the health benefits of trees removing air pollutants - 12 June 2019 at 1pm BST

While working on the UK Urban Natural Capital accounts for Defra and ONS, eftec and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) benefited from a wealth of data on vegetation cover and air pollution – all available within the public domain. But we realised the data wasn’t necessarily easy to access and that it would be beneficial, especially to local authorities and land-use planners, if it were. So, we invested our own resources to create a tool to do just that.

Our tool combines data on air pollution, vegetation cover and population density and - through a user-friendly interface - it estimates the health benefits of trees removing air pollutants.

On the 12 June, we will be launching the tool at a webinar organised by the Ecosystem Knowledge Network. You can hear about how we collated the data and how the tool can be used.


Evaluation of the 25 Year Environment Plan Pioneers

eftec was a member of the ICF-lead team which conducted an evaluation of the natural capital ‘Pioneers’ programme. The pioneers aimed to experiment with implementing natural capital approaches in the urban environment  (Greater Manchester); for catchment management (Cumbria); at a landscape scale (North Devon); and in the marine environment (in Suffolk and North Devon).

The evaluation used materials produced by the Pioneers and interviews conducted with local and national stakeholders. It is hoped that the results will support the continued development of the Pioneers and help inform the uptake of natural capital approaches across the UK.  

An important conclusion of the evaluation was that “the Pioneers are most likely to influence decision-making and deliver change where they have strong local backing at a senior level, enabling their objectives and activities to be integrated into local institutional frameworks, as in Greater Manchester”. This rings true for us particularly given our experience working for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on natural capital accounts and natural capital investment plan.

The evaluation report can be found here. The findings are particularly interesting in the context of the 25 Year Environment Plan progress report published recently.

Save the date for Valuing Nature Annual Conference: 28-29 October 2019

eftec's Ece Ozdemiroglu has been the Economics lead for the programme coordination team of the  Valuing Nature Programme since 2014. The programme is concluding next year.

The annual conference will be an opportunity to hear about the research findings and engage with an interdisciplinary / intersector group of people. It will be held at the Royal Society, London on the 28 - 29 October 2019. There will also be a theatre workshop – following the success (and fun) we had with it at the Natural Capital Initiative last week.

For more information, sign up here: Valuing Nature Network