Convention on Biological Diversity

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st March 2023.

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Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Target 1 of the Global Biodiversity Framework seeks to address land and sea use change by ensuring that all areas are under biodiversity inclusive spatial planning and other effective management processes. In England we are already taking steps to address this; for example:

- Under the Environment Act 2021 we are introducing a mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain requirement for new development along with Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs) to target the best places for nature recovery and wider environmental benefits.

- The Government is reforming the planning system through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will consult on how to use changes under the Bill to improve environmental outcomes and embed reforms under the Environment Act.

- Environmental improvement will be fully reflected in the review of the National Planning Policy Framework in 2023.

- The new system of Environmental Outcomes Reports under the Bill will be aligned to the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 and ensure that decision makers know how far a plan or project contributes to Environmental Targets.

- The Environment Act 2021 strengthened the duty on all public authorities so that they must consider what action they can take, consistent with their functions, to conserve and enhance biodiversity, and then take that action. In so doing, they must have regard to LNRSs. Local Authorities and Local Planning Authorities must also publish Biodiversity Reports providing information on action taken, and plans for future action, for biodiversity.

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