We call on the UK Government to ensure that mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain legislation fulfils its potential
The Government’s flagship Environment Act 2021 requires that from 2023 all developments in England must generate a minimum 10% uplift in biodiversity through habitat restoration, creation or enhancement. This has the potential to be a transformative step in the protection and restoration of nature.
However, this requirement has major flaws which could undermine it. Not least there are no credible mechanisms for monitoring or enforcing biodiversity gains, and current government guidance actively advises local authorities against taking enforcement action except in a case of ‘serious harm to a local public amenity’.
A group of researchers from across the UK specialising in biodiversity net gain is calling on the government to address these shortcomings now, so the policy truly improves England’s nature in line with national goals to halt wildlife loss.