UK assessment and policy documents

Here are some of the key, authoritative assessment and policy documents on the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the United Kingdom.

The assessment of Ecosystem Services in the United Kingdom:

LawtonicoThe Lawton Report: Making space for nature. This influential report from the committee chaired by Sir John Lawton was submitted to Defra, the UK government department with responsibility for environment, during the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. It set the tone for the UK Government’s policy response to biodiversity loss and risks to loss of ecosystem service  provision.


The UK National Ecosystem Assessment produced this synthesis report in 2011. The UKNEA ran parallel to, and significantly influenced, the UK’s key environmental and biodiversity policy documents developed by Defra over 2010-11. The UKNEA,  commissioned by the UK Government drew expertise form a wide range of expert organisations with more than 500 contributors coordinated by a committee chaired by Sir Robert Watson the then Defra Chief Scientific adviser.


The UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow On. This is the 2014 synthesis of the work refining the 2011 NEA. It continues though the efforts to model the ecosystem service approach at different scales confirming the earlier report but developing the methodologies into more refined and usable tools. This synthesis report is supplemented by the individual in-depth reports produced by the UKNEAFO secretariat.

UK overall environmental policy framework:


The Natural Choice: Securing the value of nature. The UK government department with statutory responsibility for environment, Defra,  produced this white paper, the basis of its policy framework for environmental governance in the UK in June 2011.

Biodiverity2020icoBiodiversity 2020: A strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services. This document which is essentially a subset of the Natural Choice white paper, focused on biodiversity was published by Defra in August 2011. It is intended to set the statutory policy framework for the government’s response to biodiversity issues for England.

UK Business responses to the Lawton report and the UKNEA:


AG-bioPricing the Priceless: The business case for action on biodiversity. This report finds that protecting biodiversity and introducing new frameworks to incorporate the value of nature into decision making will be vital to safeguard long-term economic growth. The report was produced by the Aldersgate Group of businesses, London, an alliance of leaders from business, politics and society that drives action for a sustainable economy. It aims to trigger the change in policy required to address environmental challenges effectively and secure the maximum economic benefit in sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness