To make sure I read each question myself and respond I intend to post each one and make a comment as a preliminary reply to send in to Defra.
Question 1: What do we need to do to embed the true value of our natural resources in decision making at all levels?
This is a hard one. What does it mean? Who is going to take the action implicit in the question? The summary doc gives some guidance and says:
" whilst we have made important progress, we have also continued to see piecemeal degradation –
leading to an ongoing decline in the quality and sustainability of many of our natural assets. These pressures are different from those which we have successfully addressed and require new approaches and solutions.
The White Paper will need to address a range of overarching challenges for future policy on the natural environment including:
• Climate change – both the challenge to the natural environment represented by climate change and the role of the natural environment in managing the impacts of climate change on people and business as well as being the source of the renewable energy that will help us mitigate climate change.
• Demographic changes – not just global population growth but also key changes in patterns of
consumption at home and across the globe.
• Incremental impacts – all the apparently minor choices we make that lead to piecemeal degradation of our natural environment and which together can lead to permanent damage to the natural systems we all rely on."
My off the cuff answer: The White Paper shall require every decision taken by all levels of Government to start by making a statement showing its assessment of the effect the decision will have on all aspects of the environment. This would need to cover all levels from Parish Councils all the way to the top of the tree.
Your comments welcome!?