Incorporating ecosystem services and natural capital into environmental assessment

Wednesday, 10th May 2017
Battleby Conference Centre, Perth, Central Scotland

CPD-level Training with Ecosystem Knowledge Network

"Very informative. Trainers very knowledgeable approachable. Use of case study examples ideal." Course participant, London May 2016.

"Really well presented and well researched. Should the course be run again I will recommend this to colleagues." Course participant, Manchester June 2016.

Why this topic is important to you

The ecosystem services concept is an increasingly popular way of describing the diverse range of benefits people receive from the environment. It is a term used in national and local planning policy in various jurisdictions of the UK with a view to ensuring that planning and management decisions build resilience and take into account the multiple benefits provided by the natural environment. Natural capital is a popular term too, referring to the 'stock' of natural features and processes that collectively provide ‘flows’ of ecosystem services. Businesses and the public sector are beginning to undertake natural capital assessments of areas of land they own or depend on.

For this reason, there is now strong interest in what ecosystem services and natural capital mean for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Sustainability Appraisal (SA).  One key factor is the framing of the natural environment as an opportunity, benefit or asset as opposed to simply a constraint or backdrop to absorb impacts.