Invasive non-native species

Research suggests that the threat from invasive non-native species (INNS) is growing. Biological invasions by INNS harm native species and habitats and can have economic impacts. Biosecurity measures can be adopted to prevent the introduction and spread of INNS. This POSTnote summarises the drivers and impacts of INNS and the measures needed to meet national and international environmental targets.

Invasive non-native species

Reducing peatland emissions

Peat soils store greenhouse gases for millennia if they stay waterlogged. However, an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are released from peat soils due to their modification by humans. Reducing these emissions will help meet climate targets, with objectives to achieve this set out in action plans by the governments of the UK. This POSTnote describes the pressures on peat soils and summarises the challenges for reducing emissions from English peatlands.

Reducing peatland emissions

Financial risks of nature loss

Nature loss poses risks to the financial sector via the businesses they invest in, lend to, advise and insure. The financial risks of nature loss are embedded within the financial systems but are little understood or addressed by financial institutions. The POSTnote will outline the current understanding of the type and scale of the financial risks of nature loss and look at potential mechanisms to improve company level reporting and mitigation of both the financial risks of nature loss, and nature loss itself.

Financial risks of nature loss
  • POSTnote

    Genome edited food crops

    Genome editing creates the possibility of making more precise alterations in the DNA of food crop plants than existing approaches. This POSTnote: describes genome editing technology; identifies which food crops are currently undergoing editing and why; describes the regulation and registration of genome-edited food crops; discusses issues around trade; and describes stakeholder views about the technology.

  • POSTnote

    Restoring agricultural soils

    Changes to the management of agricultural soil could contribute to improving the ability of soils to produce crops, as well as to wider benefits including mitigating future climate change. This POSTnote summarises the state of England’s agricultural soils and evaluates soil stewardship opportunities. Soil indicators that could be used for monitoring in policy frameworks and incentives relating to soil restoration are explored.

  • POSTnote

    Reducing agricultural pressures on freshwater ecosystems

    Freshwater ecosystems in the UK face a myriad of pressures, with agricultural activities a leading source of impacts. Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan proposes a “systems” approach to mitigate environmental pressures. This POSTnote first describes the components of UK freshwater catchments, then summarises opportunities for developing a more integrated approach to addressing the pressures that agricultural practices place on freshwaters.

  • POSTbrief

    Sustainable land management: managing land better for environmental benefits

    England is at a historical crossroad for the governance of land and the natural environment. Actions for addressing and adapting to climate change, achieving food security and tackling the biodiversity crisis are all embedded in and depend on how land is managed. Existing Government policy and targets have so far failed to address many of these complexities of land, farming and the natural environment.

  • POSTbrief

    Pesticides and health

    This POSTbrief summarises the evidence on routes of human exposure to pesticides and potential impacts on human health. It outlines the regulations and surveillance programmes in place to track exposures and minimise risk. Finally, it comments on how regulatory changes after EU withdrawal could affect trade, industry and consumers.

  • POSTnote

    Local nature recovery strategies

    The UK Government is introducing Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) from April 2022 to map where local habitat improvement and restoration could address national-scale environmental objectives. This POSTnote summarises the LNRS approach, including mapping ecological networks, the opportunities for LNRSs to deliver wider benefits to nature and people, and the likely challenges associated with the strategies and their delivery.

  • POSTnote

    Blue carbon

    Marine ecosystems around the UK can both increase and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Carbon loss and gain globally by these ecosystems has the potential to influence climate change. This POSTnote summarises the marine ecosystems in the UK that contribute to these processes, their current and potential future extent, and pressures on them.

  • POSTbrief

    Water supply resilience and climate change

    The resilience of water supplies and the water environment to climate change and the impacts of drought are areas of concern for the UK. Definitions of resilience vary, but in this POSTbrief it is the ability of the water supply system to recover from shocks. Projected changes in weather patterns and climate (increased temperatures and greater variability in rainfall) will reduce water availability. Increased water demand due to population growth means that, without action, water shortages could occur in future. These will impact the environment, society and the economy.

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