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Leading Practitioners Attend Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital Annual Conference

February 03, 2017 |


Leading practitioners from across the country attended the Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital Annual Conference in Salford, to discuss how best to adopt a natural capital approach in urban environments.

On Wednesday 1st February 2017 over 100 representatives from environment, health, planning, utilities and transport sectors came together to discuss what natural capital do for our urban environments, as part of the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Annual Conference.

Held at the Lowry in Salford, the conference provided a platform for leading practitioners to find out about complimentary initiatives taking place in Greater Manchester, including the Urban Pioneer and the Life funded Natural Course project.

Keynote speakers at the event included Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and Andrew Holden from Defra.

Emma Howard Boyd spoke about building a business case for investment in natural capital and Andrew Holden provided background to the Urban Pioneer, as part of Defra’s 25-year plan.

Andrew said, “Our environment is a precious natural asset that provides us with numerous benefits such as clean water, clean air, food, timber, flood protection and recreation.

“The Pioneer projects will help shape our long term approach to the environment.  We have set up four Pioneer project areas to trail and test new ways of working for local environmental benefits. There is a rural landscape in North Devon, an urban setting in Greater Manchester, a network of river catchments in Cumbria and a project on the marine environments off the coasts of Suffolk and North Devon.

“We want to design an effective approach to driving environmental improvement, tailored to the needs of our country that has a powerful and permanent impact – ensuring a healthy environment and strong economy.”

The conference was also an opportunity to introduce the EU Life Integrated Project, Natural Course, which through a collaboration of public, private and third sector organisations, will protect and improve the North West water environment.

Speaking about Natural Course was Mark Turner, Natural Course GM Team Leader at Greater Manchester Combined Authorities. Mark said: “It was great to see such a variation of sectors attending on the day who were looking to find opportunities to adopt a natural capital approach. Through Natural Course, we are hoping to protect and improve Greater Manchester’s rivers, strengthening the city’s current natural capital.”



Notes to editor:

  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Low Carbon Hub is a member of the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Group, meeting regularly with other partners to improve the region’s natural environment.
  • The Natural Capital of Greater Manchester, which includes green space, waterways and biodiversity, and the benefits it provides needs protecting and enhancing in light of pressures from people, the economy and climate change.
  • The Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub oversees the delivery of and helps to drive progress on the integrated Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation Plan (2016-2020) which aims to cut carbon emissions by 48% between 1990 and 2020.

Further contact information for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Low Carbon Hub:
Tel: 0161 237 4483

NATURAL COURSE is a collaborative project by Environment Agency, United Utilities, The Rivers Trust, Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) and Natural England who are working together to seek cost-effective solutions to improve and protect the quality of our water for generations to come. Based in the North West, Natural Course is the first LIFE Integrated Project (IP) in the UK and will span over 10 years. The project will use the diverse landscape of North West England to test and explore best practice in urban and rural environments, sharing results with UK and Europe. For more information

Contact: | T: 07943 884874

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