Policy Roundup – May 2022

Our monthly policy and research blog updates you on the latest work at the Institute and how you can get involved.

Institute News

New measures in the Woodland Carbon Code(WCC) have stimulated much debate, not only since their publication but in the many months leading up to it.  The Institute is represented on the Woodland Carbon Code Advisory Board by Robert South MICFor and we have had many discussions with members, WCC staff and reps over this time. Our members can and do have divergent views but as an Institute we are focussed on ensuring the WCC gets the balance of input needed to make decisions, that the Code retains its reputation and that it is clear and well understood. #MembersHour on 23 June, hosted by Andy Baker MICFor (Woodland Carbon Markets Advisor at the WCC), will provide update on the changes.

This month we submitted a response to Defra’s Nature Recovery Green Paper which proposed significant changes to regulation including reform of the arm’s length bodies. We convened a sector group to discuss proposals with strong agreement across interests that the issues are not with the regulation itself but with its implementation, for example severe delays with the EIA process. Read our full response here. The consultation that discusses woodland cover targets has been extended to late June since Defra published the evidence packs – please send your comments to our Policy Manager, Jemima Cooper.

Our Executive Director, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor, attended the first UK government Green Jobs Delivery Group meeting on 11 May, along with representatives across industry and other professional bodies like CIEEM. Defra Director Bella Murfin gave an excellent presentation on forestry but so far the focus seems to be on the energy sector rather than industries that offer nature-based solutions. We also attended the Environmental Policy Forum workshop on skills across the environmental professions to see how we can work together to influence government.

Lastly, earlier this month the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published its The State of the World’s Forests 2022 report, coinciding with the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul. Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor was invited to attend the Congress by the FAO to speak on the importance of investing in young forestry professionals.

Sector Research & News

  • Savills UK spotlight on the forestry market – read
  • New UKFS practice guide on adaptation – read
  • Proposed UKWAS standard for trees outside woods – read
  • Plant health import controls planned for July now no longer set for this year – read
  • GB import requirements Q&A – read
  • Emergency legislation against pine processionary moth – read
  • New biosecurity requirement for grants – read
  • Blog on managing a phytophthora pluvialis outbreak – read
  • Two new pest risk analyses for P. pluvialis and Pseudomonas avellanae read
  • Scottish Government principles for investing in natural capital – read
  • Principles to embed environmental considerations across government – read
  • OEP calls for action on the 25 Year Environment Plan – read
  • Scotland’s approach to transforming derelict land – an example for Westminster? – read
  • Forestry Commission grants and regulations update (10 May) – read
  • Forestry Commission grants and regulations update (19 May) – read

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