Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Recently Michael MacDonald examined the impact agri-environmental schemes have had in the UK and, in particular, Wales. Now Associate Editor Peter Manning highlights the need to focus on evidence of these schemes’ effects when considering agricultural policy reform. There is now overwhelming evidence that agricultural intensification has proven disastrous for wildlife, and that policies encouraging intensification are a key driver in this process. In Europe … Continue reading Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Monitoring Welsh agri-environment schemes

Alongside the British Ecological Society Policy team, Michael MacDonald looks at the future of environmental funding in agricultural landscapes and discusses his new article, Have Welsh agri-environment schemes delivered for focal species? Results from a comprehensive monitoring programme. Agri-environment schemes (AES) have been European governments’ major attempt to reduce and reverse biodiversity losses on farmland. However, there have been criticisms of the performance of AES, … Continue reading Monitoring Welsh agri-environment schemes

Early career ecologists look to plot a safe course through the Brexit minefield

In the face of continuing uncertainty over Brexit and UK environmental policy, Andy Suggitt  from the British Ecological Society’s Conservation Ecology Group argues that now is the time for early career ecologists to engage and get involved in the process. We’ve all had that feeling about Brexit. It’s top of the newsfeed on our favourite social media site, it’s the first item on the evening … Continue reading Early career ecologists look to plot a safe course through the Brexit minefield

How could the EU’s LIFE funds enhance conservation in Natura 2000?

Virgilio Hermoso et al. identify prioritisation exercises that could better-distribute conservation funds in the EU in their recent Policy Direction, Spatial prioritisation of EU’s LIFE‐Nature programme to strengthen the conservation impact of Natura 2000. The EU has made significant conservation efforts in the last two decades. Guided by the Birds and Habitats Directives, member States have designated the world´s largest network of protected areas, the Natura … Continue reading How could the EU’s LIFE funds enhance conservation in Natura 2000?

Managing non-native species and building a risk assessment checklist

Helen Roy discusses her recent Policy Direction, Developing a framework of minimum standards for the risk assessment of alien species and the challenges of producing a 14-step checklist for quality assurance in invasive species risk assessment. The dramatic rise in numbers of non-native species worldwide is increasingly recognised as problematic. While some non-native species have minimal effects on biodiversity*, and a few may be beneficial, about … Continue reading Managing non-native species and building a risk assessment checklist

A prioritised list of invasive alien species of EU concern

Focusing on invasive species management, Carles Carboneras comments on the recent Policy Direction, A prioritised list of invasive alien species to assist the effective implementation of EU legislation, published in Journal of Applied Ecology and recently featured by BBC News. Alien organisms can cause significant disruption when introduced into a new environment and, for that reason, effective policies on invasive species aim at preventing their … Continue reading A prioritised list of invasive alien species of EU concern