Beware of unintended ecological consequences

Posted on by melanie

While the UK government reports on the success of its natural environment policy, scientists have found that top-down environmental protection strategies can be counter-productive. It’s a complex jungle of policies and plans out there, and we need to be wary of unintended ecological consequences.

Chaos theory reminds us that actions in one place may have unforeseen consequences miles away or years ahead, and the world outside our buildings is nothing if not chaotic. Here at Get Sust! and elsewhere around the NBS Sustainability area you will find many articles about the design and management of buildings – not surprising, given that in the UK we spend around 20 hours a day in buildings. But all our buildings are part of the wider ecosystem and interact with ecology both during construction and throughout their lifespans. So every now and then we need to don our metaphorical waterproofs, grab our binoculars and step outside to find out what’s happening in the great outdoors.

In July 2012, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a status update which reviewed progress on the 92 environmental commitments – yes, you did read that correctly – set out twelve months earlier under the auspices of a white paper titled The natural choice: securing the value of nature.

The white paper was based on the research gathered for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and on the independent review led by … Read the full article

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