CLA President tells Efra Committee huge resources needed to support environment

08 October 2013

CLA President Harry Cotterell has told the Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee there are huge resource issues to meeting the challenges set out in the Natural Environment White Paper.

Mr Cotterell said there could be a market solution to paying for environmental goods if the Government put the frame

work in place for "environmental markets" to raise the funds needed.

In his oral evidence to the Committee, the CLA President said it was a good idea to look at the economic value of environmental services for areas such as agri-environment [resources] and flood protection.

On Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, he added that a "fairer contribution to Pillar 2 funding in the UK" was needed.

Mr Cotterell said it was helpful the Minister for Agriculture and Food had signalled he would do his best to protect existing agri-environment schemes.

In his earlier written evidence, Mr Cotterell said the CLA was pleased by the Government's long-term commitment to moving the future CAP towards achieving food and environmental security but the CAP budget would need to increase in absolute terms to bolster ecosystem services.

He wrote that there was a lack of understanding about the important trade-offs made by land managers who have to balance the costs of managing the natural environment against current and alternative land use and the resources available for sustainable land management.

In the CLA's submission, Mr Cotterell backed the concept of Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) to deliver landscape scale delivery of environmental services but expressed concern that they will be underpinned by the planning system.