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News Release
12 October



How much is the environment worth to society? What balance of incentives and regulation will produce the most environmental benefits? What practical steps need to be taken for the UK to reap the most environmental ‘goods’ and the least environmental ‘bads’ from our land? These questions will be discussed today as the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) kicks off its new vision for environmental policy: “Public Goods from Private Land – why Nature needs Farming”.

The vision is part of CLA’s determination to jolt the current orthodoxy that the best way to tackle environment problems is through ever increasing regulation. CLA believes that the current policies which favour regulation over motivation are simply not working. In the document and at a top level round table discussion held at CLA’s London headquarters today, the CLA sets out that a far more effective approach to achieving environmental targets is to get private land managers involved and engaged rather than bound in red tape.

Speaking in London, CLA President Mark Hudson said: “All sectors, such as industry, construction and transport, can work to lessen their negative environmental impact – but only land management can deliver positive environmental results as part of its economic activity. The opportunity to reduce and store greenhouse gases, provide renewable energy and the sustainable management of natural resources whilst providing jobs and investment opportunities is immense.

“However, the present policy approach which tries bureaucratically to micro-manage every square inch of the countryside is bound to fail. CLA’s vision recognises that those best able to deliver environmental services are the very people who manage the land, its landscape and habitats. We set out seven principles and many practical steps on how Government can create and deliver effective environmental policy, which if followed could turn the UK into a leader, not a follower, in the global challenge of environmentally sensitive land management and in dealing with climate change,” concluded Mark Hudson.

In a foreword to the vision, Jim Knight MP Minister for Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity said: “I support the positive links between an environmentally sustainable countryside and a prosperous one.”

Jonathan Porritt, Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission and Programme Director of Forum for the Future, also welcomed the CLA’s contribution to the debate: “I am very pleased to see the publication of ‘Public Goods from Private Land’, in the sure knowledge that its forthright style will stimulate lively and constructive discussion.” Whilst not supporting the entire CLA stance on regulation, Jonathan Porritt concurred that a new kind of regulation is needed: one that is “much more flexible and more closely aligned to the use of financial incentives.”


Public Goods from Private Land – why Nature needs Farming: Summary of Contents:

•Forewords from CLA President Mark Hudson, Jim Knight, Minister for Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity, and Jonathan Porrit, Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission and Programme Director of Forum for the Future.

•Principles for private sector land management

•Managing Environmental Resources
o Water Resources
o Water Quality
o The Soil Resource
o Atmosphere
o Renewable Energy

•Delivering Environmental Services
o Biodiversity
o Landscape
o Fluvial and Coastal Management
o Built Heritage and Archaeology
o Public Access
o Waste Management

•Summary and action to realise the vision

Notes to Editors:

1. A summary and the full version of “Public Goods from Private Land – why Nature needs Farming” is available to download here Hard copies are available from the CLA press office: 020 7460 7936.
2. CLA: The Country Land and Business Association is the premier organisation safeguarding the interests of those responsible for land, property and business throughout rural England and Wales.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Helen Leyland, National Press Officer
Tel: 020 7460 7936 or Mobile: 07970 550 261

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Country Land and Business Association in the following categories: Environment & Nature, Farming & Animals, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit