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‘Sustainable Infrastructure: Principles into Practice is a practical and accessible handbook which addresses the key principles of sustainability for engineers and built environment professionals. It outlines the critical changes needed to deliver more sustainable solutions and offers techniques to embed these changes as best practice in order to deliver high quality, economical and sustainable infrastructure across the globe. With many years of engineering knowledge and practical experience between them, the authors identify key sustainability issues in engineering and a set of common principles which can be applied across all types of infrastructure at each stage of a project, from planning and development through to the implementation, in-use and end-of-life phases. The book provides readers with a set of tools to help define, test and measure sustainability, encouraging them to be champions of change and take full advantage of sustainable opportunities.’

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum (PCF), utilising the expertise of Marine Planning Consultants and Atkins have recently completed a project to provide an economic value to mapped areas of marine/coastal recreation and tourism in two pilot areas of Pembrokeshire. The study has provided clear evidence and methods to state how much individual activities are worth to the local economy. The overall objective of the project was to source individual expenditure per person per day for each activity and to apply this to the number of participant days per year for a given location as defined by the Wales Activity Mapping project. This therefore provides the total value of an area per year for each activity; and by combining all activities, the total recreation value for any unique location can be calculated. As this scale of marine recreation valuation has not been carried out to date in the UK, the project was intended as a pilot study, focusing on two case studies in southwest Wales: the St David’s area and Dale. The intention was that the methodology developed may help enable relatively rapid recreation valuations across broad areas for multiple activities in the future. This will aid the developments being made in policy and commerce alike, particularly to inform marine planning and the designation of Marine Protected Areas, allowing the recreation sector to be better represented (and therefore considered) in future plans. A Non Technical Executive Summary, the full report and more information can be found here

Environment Agency ‘Improved flood maps published today show a reduction in the number of people classed at risk of surface water flooding and will help communities and businesses protect their properties from flooding. The maps show areas of the country at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea as well as new national scale maps of surface water flooding, making them some of the most comprehensive anywhere in the world. Previous data estimated that 3.8 million properties were at risk of surface water flooding but improved mapping has now reduced that figure to around 3 million. Surface water flooding occurs when intense rainfall overwhelms drainage systems. Some 35,000 properties were affected by surface water during the major floods of 2007. Surface water mapping involves cutting edge technology, with flood experts using models to observe how rain water flows and ponds, and producing maps that take local topography, weather patterns and historical data into account. Future versions of the maps will be more detailed and accurate as the modelling technology develops. Around 5 million properties are at risk of flooding in England, 2.4 million from rivers and sea and 3 million properties from surface water flooding. Some properties are at risk from both types of flooding.’ To read more go to:

Seas at Risk: ‘Brussels/ Strasbourg 12th December 2013 – The Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management Directive was voted today in the European Parliament, with a final outcome that falls short of what is needed to support effective protection of the marine environment. “We are disappointed with the European Parliament’s dilution of the European Commission’s proposal” said Bruna Campos, EU Marine and Fisheries Policy Officer at BirdLife Europe. “The European Parliament has traded off the marine environment for the sake of an unsustainable “Blue Growth Agenda”. Much effort was made to improve the Transport Committee’s report, especially to clarify that the ecosystem based approach was still the basis for planning and that the Directive needs a balanced set of environmental, social and economic objectives. However, the newly agreed Directive is likely to end up undermining crucial pieces of existing legislation, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and the Birds and Habitat’s Directive. The Commission proposed a strong framework for Integrated Coastal Management in March earlier this year which has been undermined by the Council position. Today’s plenary session in Parliament at least retains Integrated Coastal Management in the Directive, albeit in a weaker form than we hoped. Integrated Coastal Management will need statutory underpinning to ensure effective land-sea planning and this is only likely to come through Europe.’ To read more

Niall Benson: ‘Members of the European Parliament will be voting on the MSP & ICM Directive in their Plenary session this Thursday 12th December. Integrated Coastal Management has been significantly weakened in recent months and in danger of being lost completely. For further information and recommendations for contacting MEPs, see :’

‘BusinessGreen offers instant reaction and analysis to the environmental and energy news from Chancellor George Osborne's latest Autumn Statement and much else on their website of interest to the water and marine community Snap verdict: There weren't too many nasty surprises in this Autumn Statement, but perhaps that's because after three years, it's pretty clear Osborne just doesn't do green budgets. A freeze on fuel duty and new tax breaks for shale gas will provide little comfort to environmentalists and in typical Osborne style, his rhetoric says a lot more about the Conservative's ambitions than his policies. Reiterating his mantra that going green could "cost the earth", Osborne will once again anger those green businesses and NGOs that want the government to boost its commitment to a low carbon growth. He also succeeded in having a dig at the onshore wind industry, confirming the new strike prices will favour offshore wind. While the Conservatives hope this will boost its ratings in the polls with right-wing voters, it will provide further uncertainty for the renewable energy industry. With the deficit now due to last until 2018/19, there are also concerns that it will be even longer before the £3bn Green Investment Bank will be able to act like a proper bank and borrow. Osborne did not announce any changes to the Carbon Floor Price, which will anger energy intensive businesses and NGOs which believe the tax will fail to cut emissions and only drive businesses elsewhere in Europe. But at least he has provided certainty to investors by keeping the policy as it is. 12.02 Osborne reiterates changes to ECO that will help shave £50 off householders' annual fuel bills. This will reduce carbon and support the lowest income families, he says.He also repeats his mantra that "going green does not have to cost the earth" and says instead of penalizing people with taxes, give them incentives: To read more go to:’

The 2013 MCCIP Report Card summarises the current state of scientific understanding on UK marine and coastal climate change impacts. Based upon 33 peer-reviewed scientific reports, it focuses on how climate change is affecting UK seas and combines contributions from over 150 scientists from more than 50 leading science organisations. Key findings in the 2013 MCCIP Report Card include: Temperature records continue to show an overall upward trend despite short-term variability. For example, in the last decade, the average UK coastal sea-surface temperature has actually been lower in 2008-2012 than in 2003-2007. The seven lowest Arctic sea-ice extents in the satellite era were recorded between 2007 and 2013. The continuing downward trend is providing opportunities for the use of polar transit routes between Europe and Asia by commercial ships. Changes in primary production are expected throughout the UK, with southern regions (e.g. Celtic Sea, English Channel) becoming up to 10% more productive and northern regions (e.g. central and northern North Sea) up to 20% less productive; with clear implications for fisheries. There continue to be some challenges in identifying impacts of climate change. These are due to difficulties distinguishing between short-term variability and long-term trends, and between climate drivers and other pressures. The Report Card includes a regional-seas climate change impacts map, which shows that most areas around the UK and Ireland are likely to be affected. The 12-page Report Card and supporting peer-reviewed scientific papers can be accessed at

EEA ‘ The objective of this European Environment Agency report - Balancing the future of Europe's coasts — knowledge base for integrated management - is to frame an analytical approach for coastal areas in Europe, and to place this in the context of the new socio economic drivers of sustainable growth, and the formation of a new integrated policy framework. This framework builds on an ecosystem based management approach and integrated spatial planning and management. The report presents some key sustainability challenges for European coastal areas and waters, and highlights the need for a consolidated knowledge base and widespread information sharing to support informed policy development and management actions.

The current uncertainty about energy policy has lead to the plans for this big offshore installation to be withdrawn. Whether the Government’s announcement on more support for offshore wind will make any difference remains to be seen. BBC: ‘Plans for a huge wind farm off the north Devon coast have been shelved. Developer RWE Innogy is pulling the plug on the 240-turbine Atlantic Array project, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) told the BBC. The scheme, which had not yet received the go-ahead, had attracted criticism, with environmentalists worried about its impact on marine wildlife in the Bristol Channel. RWE Innogy said it was "not the right time" for the project. The Atlantic Array was planned in an area of 200 sq km (77 sq miles) about 16.5km (10 miles) from the north Devon coast, 22.5km (14 miles) from south Wales coast and 13.5km (8 miles) from Lundy Island nature reserve. The turbines would have been 220m (720ft) tall and capable of producing 1,200 megawatts of electricity - enough for up to 900,000 homes, the developer has said. RWE said it was "not viable... to continue with development in the Bristol Channel Zone". RWE's director of offshore wind, Paul Cowling, said: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly. "However, given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project." To read more go to:

Energy Saving Trust’s Water Energy Calculator has been upgraded this morning. It has now been converted from flash to HTML 5 making it fully operational on Apple and Android devices. For nine water companies the Water Energy Calculator will become the primary online tool for engaging customers with their water use and the potential water and energy savings. The upgrade to HTML5 will allow more consumers to benefit from the Water Energy Calculator’s functions and reporting outputs regarding the savings consumers can make on their water, energy, carbon and utility bills. If you have any enquiries about the Water Energy Calculator, please contact me - Andrew Tucker Water Strategy Manager

Environment Agency ‘One year on from some of the worst flooding in 2012, latest research by the Environment Agency reveals that last year’s record-breaking wet year in England could have cost the UK economy close to £600million. The overall financial cost to businesses of the extreme weather was up to £200m as total commercial property and contents damage totalled up to £84m, and further indirect impacts – such as staff working days lost – hit companies and local economies for up to £33m. Every affected business was setback an average £60,000 While 1 in 4 days were officially in drought, with 20m people affected by hosepipe bans, flooding occurred 1 in every 5 days last year affecting over 7,000 properties. The latest assessment on the financial cost of the 2012 floods reveal that every affected business was setback an average £60,000 but flood defences protected 200,000 properties – worth up to £1.7 billion to the UK economy. In England and Wales, 175,000 businesses are at risk of flooding and, in a recent survey, 1 in 5 members of the Federation of Small Businesses said flooding had had a negative impact on their company over the past 12 months.’

For a Government forever pushing for ‘evidence’ the badger culling programme has been affront to all those that believe science should provide the basis for policy. A vaccination programme for badgers in Gloucestershire has been shown to cost 1/10th the cost of shooting as well as providing an accurate measure of actual badger population size. Guardian ‘Pilot cull to end earlier than planned after Natural England revokes licence over failure to meet greatly reduced targets. The collapse of the badger culling trial in Gloucestershire represents a humiliation for the government’s policy on reducing bovine TB. The controversial badger cull in Gloucestershire is being abandoned after marksmen failed to kill enough animals to meet even drastically reduced targets, the Guardian revealed on Friday. The collapse of the culling trial represents a humiliation for the government's policy as it means every target set has now been missed. Natural England (NE) will revoke the culling licence and the cull will end at noon on Saturday, three weeks earlier than planned. The cull, intended to help curb tuberculosis in cattle, was initially tasked with killing 70% of all badgers in the area in a maximum of six weeks. But just 30% were killed in that time, leading to an eight-week extension that was granted against the advice of the lead scientist on NE's board. A revised target of 58% was set but shooters have failed to kill enough badgers on any night and several night saw no kills at all. The extended cull was due to end on 18 December.’ To read more

The report is the most comprehensive study to have ever been carried out on sea angling in England. MMO: ‘Sea Angling 2012 was established to find out how many people go sea angling in England, how much they catch, how much is released, and the economic and social value of sea angling. This was to help local and national policy makers make balanced, well-informed decisions on sustainable development of all forms of sea fishing, and help other organisations – such as sea angling bodies – to develop their own policies. The surveys also met UK obligations under European law to estimate recreational catches of several species including bass and cod. Data were collected from over 11,000 sea anglers in England through an Office for National Statistics (ONS) household survey, face-to-face interviews with anglers by inshore fisheries and conservation authorities (IFCA), catch diaries and online surveys. Summary of findings The surveys estimated there are 884,000 sea anglers in England, with 2% of all adults going sea angling. These anglers make a significant contribution to the economy – in 2012, sea anglers resident in England spent £1.23 billion on the sport, equivalent to £831 million direct spend once imports and taxes had been excluded. This supported 10,400 full-time equivalent jobs and almost £360 million of gross value added (GVA). Taking indirect and induced effects into account, sea angling supported £2.1 billion of total spending, a total of over 23,600 jobs, and almost £980 million of GVA. Sea angling also has important social and well-being benefits including providing relaxation, physical exercise, and a route for socialising. Anglers felt that improving fish stocks was the most important factor that would increase participation in sea angling. Almost 4 million days of sea angling were recorded over the year. Shore fishing was the most common type of sea angling – almost 3 million angler-days compared with 1 million for private or rented boats and 0.1 million on charter boats. Anglers had most success on charter boats, catching 10 fish per day on average compared with around 5 from private boats and only 2 from the shore.’ To read more

The third and final round of the current CCF programme will open in early January 2014. This will combine CCF funding from 2014/15 and 2015/16 budgets. In this round we are looking for fully developed projects that can spend their CCF award before the programme closes in March 2016. The total funding available for round three will be confirmed in July 2014. The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) aims to encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by awarding funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. Since the start of the CCF in 2012 we have awarded grants to 62 organisations across the UK to the value of £32 million. This funding is forecast to deliver nearly 6,000 jobs and help attract £56 million of additional funds to coastal areas. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of Government.

EEA ‘ The objective of this European Environment Agency report - Balancing the future of Europe's coasts — knowledge base for integrated management - is to frame an analytical approach for coastal areas in Europe, and to place this in the context of the new socio economic drivers of sustainable growth, and the formation of a new integrated policy framework. This framework builds on an ecosystem based management approach and integrated spatial planning and management. The report presents some key sustainability challenges for European coastal areas and waters, and highlights the need for a consolidated knowledge base and widespread information sharing to support informed policy development and management actions.

Defra made its announcement on the MCZ programme last week and we circulated news of that to the CMS marine listing. The Guardian marshalled a selection of rather more colourful comments on the MCZ announcement .... ‘Twenty-seven new marine conservation zones (MCZs) will be created in English seas on Thursday to protect seahorses, coral reefs, oyster beds and other marine life. But the number is four less than ministers proposed and just one-fifth of the 127 zones recommended by the government's own consultation. The seas around England are some of richest marine environments in the world, with dense forests of seaweed, many fish and crustacean species and schools of dolphins, but dredging and bottom-trawling for fish, prawns and aggregates have devastated large areas. "We very much see the new MCZs as the beginning and not an end," said environment minister George Eustice, who said consultation on two more tranches of MCZs would start in 2015. He added: "It is important to remember that MCZs are only one part of the jigsaw. Over 500 marine protected areas already exist around the UK." The 27 zones cover 9,700 kilometres squared (km2) from the Aln estuary in the north-east to Beachy Head and Chesil Beach in the south and Padstow Bay and the Scilly Isles in the south-west. Together with the 30,000km2 already protected, 9% of all UK waters and one-quarter of inshore waters now have some form of protection – though critics have called the existing protected areas "paper parks" that do not stop the most damaging practices. Professor Callum Roberts, a marine expert at the University of York who led 86 marine scientists in condemning the government in April for reneging on the 127 MCZs recommended by an earlier £8m consultation, said: "The 27 is far, far away from where we need to be." Ministers have argued that the economic cost to fishing and ports of some proposed zones would be too great, but Roberts was blunt: "It's bollocks. These MCZs will not put fishermen out of jobs: they will protect them in the long run." ‘To read more.

‘WCL - Nature Check 2013, published on 19 November 2013 and supported by 41 leading environmental groups, is the third assessment of the Coalition Government's progress against its commitments to the natural environment in England. The report builds on Nature Check 2011 and 2012, and finds that although some policies are delivering positive results, the Government's delivery for the natural environment over the last year has remained static - there has been no step change in leadership or delivery. We know that nature is in crisis. The evidence shows us long and short-term declines in our wildlife and natural places, which translates into a crisis for people too, because the environment is the foundation of our lives and livelihoods. It is a source of great joy and fulfilment for many millions of people across the country, and we must therefore work together to conserve the environment for future generations, secure a sustainable economy and meet our international commitments. This crisis is harder to turn around with each year of delay or ineffectual action. In order for the Government to improve its overall performance for the natural environment over the next year, Link recommends that it should: 1. Demonstrate its commitment to the natural environment by providing strong leadership and a clarity of purpose that will reverse the catastrophic decline in wildlife and reconnect people with nature. 2. Enable the statutory nature conservation bodies to fulfil their critical role as champions of nature, by allowing them a voice in developing public policy consistent with their expertise, while properly funding their functions and not imposing a growth duty. 3. Enforce the rules and regulations that protect our environmental public goods, whether domestic or European in origin To read more go to:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has received funding to extend its ‘pinger trial’. Our latest report is now available to download from the right hand links on this web page. The Banana Pinger proved to be very affective in reducing porpoise activity around nets by 82%. In addition to this, our trail investigated behavioural responses of the porpoises to pingers to look for any long term changes. The good news was that porpoises showed no habituation to the pinger over time during the investigation, another positive result. There were some concerns with the fishing industry with the handling of the device, however CWT do feel that the Banana Pinger is a good option for inshore vessel skippers when considering the use of pingers on their boats.

‘Marine Conservation Society keeps advice unchanged over concerns fish numbers still not at sustainable level Consumers are being urged by a conservation charity to continue avoiding cod from the North Sea, despite an encouraging rise in stocks. The Marine Conservation Society has decided not to change its advice on North Sea cod, saying that more stability is needed before it can be put back on the menu and eaten without guilt. The MCS points to the latest data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, which shows North Sea cod stocks are only slightly above what are considered safe levels for the species, despite a decrease in the amount fished. The charity says it is still too soon for North Sea supplies to be back on our menus, and therefore it remains on its fish to avoid list. MCS fisheries officer, Bernadette Clarke, said: "The efforts of fishers and managers have placed cod in the North Sea on the road to recovery. Programmes such as the conservation credits scheme – which rewards fishermen for adopting conservation measures with additional days at sea – together with more effective long-term management plans will hopefully see the fishery continue to recover in the coming years. Our advice remains to seek alternatives to North Sea cod. There are more sustainable cod fisheries that we currently rate as fish to eat." Cod remains a firm favourite with consumers and the MCS urges shoppers to stick to cod from Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries in the north-east Arctic, Iceland or eastern Baltic.’

The Environment Agency, is proposing to make changes to 7 of the 11 supporting annexes, within its H1 Risk Assessment Framework. The annexes contain guidance on the making of risk assessments for activities listed in the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) 2010. You should double click on the H1 Environmental Risk Assessment label which is currently at the top of the spreadsheet and follow the guidance written on the linked page. Responses to the questions within the consultation document may be submitted electronically or in hard copy, see the ‘Add Comments’ bottom on the consultation page. This is a useful web link because it covers all the current and recent Environment Agency consultations

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