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CIEEM Engagement and Activities

CIEEM Scoping Workshop

CIEEM organised a workshop for members and non-members with relevant experience on 31 July 2015 in Birmingham. This was a scoping exercise to determine the boundaries of the evidence to collect, the types of evidence needed, and how to collect it. A brief report of the workshop was produced.


Table of Directives

CIEEM has produced a table of all the environmental directives, which indicates how they are implemented in each UK country.


Survey of CIEEM Members

We have undertaken a survey of the CIEEM membership to ask their views on the impacts of a possible Brexit in relation to the natural environment and the sector. The results show overwhelming support for remaining a member of the EU. The full findings can be found in the below report.

Read the survey report.

Commercial Impacts of Brexit on the Ecology and Environmental Management Sector

We have recently conducted a survey, of both members and the wider environmental community, to determine how the Brexit vote has affected ecologists and environmental managers commercially. The survey also looked at the measures that are being considered or have been put in place to mitigate any negative commercial impacts.

We hope to use the results of this survey in our discussions with policymakers to highlight the important challenges and changes the sector will face post-Brexit. 

Read the survey report.


Position Statements

CIEEM Position Statement on EU Membership

On 9 June CIEEM published its position on the UK’s EU Referendum.

In our statement, CIEEM highlights benefits such as protection of wildlife habitats and species, rigorous standards for pollution control, and the cleanliness of bathing beaches – all of which have been delivered because of EU legislation.

CIEEM’s full position on the EU Referendum offered an insightful statement on encouraging all those who were concerned with the natural environment to vote to remain a member of the EU.

Read the full Position Statement.

CIEEM Position Statement on Brexit

In August 2016, CIEEM published its views on Brexit and what should happen next regarding the natural environment.

CIEEM offered our independent expertise and advice to governments and Ministers and we will work with all stakeholders to get the best possible result for the natural environment. 

Read the full Position Statement.


CIEEM Letters to Parliamentarians

In July and August 2016, CIEEM wrote to all UK Ministers, MPs, MSPs, AMs and MLAs in relation to Brexit and the natural environment, setting out our position and how CIEEM could be of assistance. Read the letters.

In January 2017, following on from the Environmental Audit Committee's report on the natural environment after the EU referendum, CIEEM - jointly with the British Ecological Society, the Institution of Environmental Sciences and the Landscape Institute - identified a number of principles for future policy relating to land management and the natural environment, and issued a joint letter to Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom setting out our ideas in greater detail as well as our support for some of the key recommendations from the Committee’s report. Read more.

More letters written by CIEEM, both individually and jointly with other organisations, can be viewed here.


CIEEM Brexit Task Groups

Following the referendum, CIEEM set up seven Working Groups to look at the following specific topics in relation to Brexit:

  1. Land Management and Agricultural Policy
  2. Protected Species
  3. Protected Areas (terrestrial)
  4. Marine Protected Areas
  5. Fisheries Policy
  6. Non-Native Invasive Species and Biosecurity
  7. Water Resource Management and Air Quality

Following further work and feedback we reformed these into five Task Groups:

  1. Land Management
  2. Marine Environment
  3. Sites Protection
  4. Species Protection
  5. Water


CIEEM Key Messages

Following the work of the Brexit Task Groups, CIEEM has distilled out our three key messages. We believe that the UK Government should:

  • Introduce a new Environment Act, envisioned jointly by all countries of the UK, to provide the legislative framework for a new, bold, shared ambition for the environment.
  • Transform land and marine management policies by using ‘biodiversity net gain’ as the driver to halt biodiversity loss and rebuild our stocks of natural capital.
  • Establish a new, independent scrutiny body – OfEnv – to provide appropriate enforcement of environmental legislation after we leave the EU.

The working papers produced by the Brexit Task Groups will be kept as 'live' briefings that we update over time and use as detail and evidence as we produce briefings for parliamentarians and others.

Click on the document image below to download the relevant documents.

Brexit Key Messages CIEEM Brexit Key Messages page1
Biodiversity Net Gain Briefing CIEEM Biodiversity Net Gain Briefing Cover

Since producing our Key Messages, the UK Government has announced it will produce the first Environment Bill in over 20 years. The Bill will set out a legal framework for the government’s promise to leave the environment in a better state over the next 25 years.

Defra have also consulted on the formation of a new independent environmental scrutiny body to hold government to account following the UK's exit from the EU. CIEEM responded to the consultation with a number of concerns, most notably, the lack of enforcement powers given to the body in the consultation document (view the response here).

We are currently awaiting the publication of a Defra consultation on the use of environmental net gain in development policy. 

Disseminating our Key Messages to Policy- and Decision-Makers

CIEEM has ongoing relationships with governments, relevant departments and statutory agencies in the UK, devolved nations and Ireland, and with relevant Select Committees.

In November 2017, CIEEM started a programme of meetings with Westminster parliamentarians to discuss our key messages, to find out their concerns, and to discuss how we could help each other. To date we have met with:

  • Dr David Drew MP - Labour, Shadow Environment Minister
  • Baroness Jones of Whitchurch - Labour, Shadow Environment Spokesperson
  • Neil Parish MP - Conservative, Chair of EFRA Select Committee
  • Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP - Labour, former Environment Minister, Chair of Exiting the EU Select Committee
  • Rebecca Pow MP - Conservative, former member of the Environmental Audit Committee
  • Lord Teverson - LibDem, Chair of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, spokesperson on energy and climate change
  • Seema Malhotra MP - Labour, member of Exiting the EU Committee
  • Sue Hayman MP - Labour, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment
  • Mary Creagh MP - Labour, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee
  • Rt Hon Tom Brake MP - LibDem, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
  • John McNally MP - SNP, member of the Environmental Audit Committee, Environment Spokesperson
  • Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP - Labour, member of Exiting the EU Committee
  • Madeleine Moon MP - Labour, her late husband was an ecologist
  • Kerry McCarthy MP - Labour, member of the Environmental Audit Committee, member of the EFRA Committee
  • Steve Brine MP - Conservative, Health Minister, MP for the Winchester constituency where CIEEM HQ is based
  • Dr Matthew Offord MP - Conservative, member of the Environmental Audit Committee
  • Richard Benyon MP - Conservative, Environment Minister 2010-2013, Chair of APPG Environment
  • Matthew Pennycook MP - Labour, Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU  
  • Angela Smith MP - Labour, Shadow Environment Minister, member of the EFRA Committee
  • Sandy Martin MP - Labour, member of the EFRA Committee
  • Angus Brendan MacNeil MP - SNP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs)
  • Anna McMorrin MP - Labour, member of Welsh Affairs Committee
  • Colin Clark MP - Conservative, member of the Environmental Audit Committee

We are continuing our policy engagement with Parliamentary events in Autumn 2018, and are beginning to organise a second round of meetings. 

In December 2017, CIEEM attended two meetings with Defra officials to discuss issues relating to EU exit, the marine environment, reform of agricultural subsidies, biodiversity, and international leadership. We have continued these detail-orientated meetings in 2018 on topics such as the Red Tape Initiative and biodiversity net gain.


CIEEM Responses to Consultations and Select Committee Inquiries

CIEEM has responded to the following Brexit-related inquiries and consultations:

  • Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research (Science and Technology Committee inquiry)
    3 August 2016
  • Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum inquiry (Environmental Audit Committee) 
    9 September 2016
  • EU Withdrawal Bill Inquiry (House of Lords Constitution Committee)
    12 October 2017
  • 25-Year Environment Plan inquiry (Environmental Audit Committee)
    28 February 2018
  • Health and harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit (Defra)
    8 May 2018
  • Environmental Principles and Governance Inquiry (Environmental Audit Committee) 1 June 2018

All CIEEM responses to consultations and inquiries can be found on our Past Consultation Responses webpage.


Brexit Articles in In Practice Magazine

CIEEM members can access articles in In Practice on Brexit in the Members' Area of the website. The following articles have been published:




Sep 2016

The Reality of Brexit

Wyn Jones

Brexit: What now for the ecological consultancy market?

Andrew Baker

Dec 2016

Brexit: Potential Impacts On Our Natural Environment Legal Framework

Penny Simpson

Viewpoint: A Brexit Heretic

David Lowe

Sep 2017

Change Is Inevitable: How Can We Make a Difference?

John Box

CIEEM, Brexit and the Natural Environment: Achieving a Better Future

Jason Reeves

The Great Repeal Bill – Safeguarding the Future of Our Natural Environment Legal Framework?

Josh Middleton

Brexit Implications for the Environment in Wales

Matthew Quinn

Implications of Brexit for Devolved Environmental Law in Scotland

Chris Cathrine

A Brexit Perspective from Ireland

Jenny Neff and Paul Lynas 

Biodiversity and Brexit: Emerging Policy Priorities

Liz Spedding

Brexit and Management of Trans-Boundary Pollution: How Will Offshore Operations Be Affected?

Federica Pace 

The Investigation and Prosecution of Wildlife Crime – Post-Brexit Challenges and Opportunities

Pete Charleston

Dec 2017


Implications of Brexit for Devolved Environmental Law in Scotland: Update

Chris Cathrine

CIEEM Policy Update

Jason Reeves

Mar 2018

CIEEM's Policy Activities

Jason Reeves

Jun 2018

CIEEM Policy Activities Update

Jason Reeves

Sept 2018

CIEEM Policy Activities Update

Amber Connett

Non-members are able to subscribe to, or buy single editions of, In Practice.


Other Engagement and Partnerships

Since late-2016, CIEEM has been working closely with the Environmental Policy Forum (an umbrella group of environmental professional bodies and learned societies) on sharing information and collaborating on our respective Brexit policy work where appropriate. Read more.

In March 2017 CIEEM jointly - through Greener UK and along with 46 other environmental organisations - wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the triggering of Article 50 and the Great Repeal Bill. Read more. Also in March 2017, CIEEM's Governing Board approved the Institute joining Greener UK as a 'supporter' member. Greener UK's Pledge for the Environment has been signed by over 180 MPs - has your MP signed? Greener UK has created a Brexit Risk Tracker, a tool for monitoring the UK government’s choices around safeguarding environmental protections throughout the Brexit process. Researched and written by experts from Greener UK partner organisations, it helps to sift through the confusion with clear traffic light ratings indicating how the government is managing key environmental issues around Brexit and whether it is really delivering on its promise to leave the environment in a better state than it found it.

CIEEM also works closely with Wildlife and Countryside Link, the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), the Law Society, and the Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE).

Regarding speaking engagements, CIEEM Policy and Communications Manager, Jason Reeves, gave a talk on 'Brexit and Ecology Professionals' at the Linnean Society of London in September 2016. In April 2017, CIEEM President Dr Stephanie Wray CEcol CEnv FCIEEM spoke at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum event on 'The way forward for natural environment policy post-Brexit' where she set out some of our thinking to date. Read more. In June 2017, CIEEM CEO Sally Hayns CEcol MCIEEM spoke at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum event on 'Wildlife Law: Understanding Current Policy & Next Steps for Reform'. Read more.

CIEEM has presented two Brexit update webinars, which you can watch below:

CIEEM has contributed to the Harvard Kennedy School report entitled Making Brexit work for British Business: Key Execution Priorities.

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