Emma Clarke, Emma Jenkins, Cathy Maguire, Ella Nierhorster
July 2023

The role of data in supporting environmental regulation

Data and digital innovation will be a key part of realising environmental targets and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. This event explores the different ways that data can support environmental regulation and the ways in which this may change in the future:

  • Effective monitoring to improve environmental outcomes

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) monitors, critically assesses and reports on governments' progress in improving the natural environment in line with their Environmental Improvement Plans (EIPs), goals and targets. The OEP is required by our enabling legislation to produce an annual report on progress and this assessment and scrutiny underpins the delivery of the EIPs and targets in law. Effective monitoring can drive improvement of environmental outcomes and how the OEP is developing our approach to monitoring and evaluating Government’s progress will be presented. 

  • Implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain and Local Nature Recovery Strategies: What data is needed to ensure BNG and LNRS deliver for nature?

Several new environmental policies were introduced by the Environment Act 2021, including mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs). However, for these new policies to genuinely deliver for nature, they must be informed and directed by good environmental data, supported by adequate environmental data infrastructure, and subject to robust monitoring, reporting and enforcement.

  • Future of Digital EIA and monitoring of the EIA outcomes

This presentation discusses the benefits of using a centralised database to hold all EIA related data, including impact assessment information. The use of an EIA database approach is considered to have wide benefits, through from project outset to build-out and operation. An EIA Database approach would provide greater clarity on mitigation, allowing for more effective monitoring of the EIA. 

This panel discussion was organised as part of the 'The regulatory landscape' theme of the IES's Future of ES23 horizon scanning & foresight project.


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