I am off to Bristol on Monday to sort out some details concerning the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership. The LNPs are not yet very well known so I thought you might like to read; LNPs – Five thinks you need to know about Local Nature Partnerships
- Local Nature Partnerships were borne as colonial organisms to to deliver the White Paper The Natural Choice; securing the Value of Nature
- The job of an LNP is to
- Drive positive change in the local natural environment, taking a strategic view of the challenges and opportunities involved and identifying ways to manage it as a system for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.
- Contribute to achieving the Government’s national environmental objectives locally, including the identification of local ecological networks, alongside addressing local priorities.
- Become local champions influencing decision-making relating to the natural environment and its value to social and economic outcomes, in particular, through working closely with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards
- Leadership of LNPs is critical if they are to thrive. Of the 48 Local Nature Partnerships that have been approved by DEFRA, a very impressive 19 are being lead by the local Wildlife Trust. I am the interim chair of the Gloucestershire LNP. It exists because of the vision and hard work of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
DEFRA seems pleased with LNP progress to date: “The vision, energy and commitment displayed in these applications was wonderful. Really diverse partners, many coming together for the first time, to work across geographic boundaries and administrative borders, and finding innovative ways of pooling and sharing limited local resources. And all this driven by the ambition to not only safeguard nature, but to recognise its importance to economic growth and the wellbeing of communities.”Richard Benyon Parliamentary Undersecretary for the Natural Environment
- Whilst DEFRA has designed the LNP approach it has failed dismally to support the idea. Local Enterprise Partnerships and Health and Wellbeing boards have been given financial and departmental support to deliver their work programmes. So far LNPs have been asked to deliver but have been given no money other than an initial development grant and little ministerial time. LEPs are well endowed and are being recognised as ‘Big Society’ initiatives.Come on DEFRA you could and should do much better. Partners are being asked to give lots of time, resource and energy; you apparently are not. If you don’t do more LNPs may well fizzle out like damp squibs.