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Declaration of Interests and Dispensations
You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda and the nature of that interest.
You are also invited to disclose any dispensations that you have been granted in relation to any items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2022.
Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2022 be confirmed as a correct record
The role of Nature Based Solutions, Carbon Offsetting and Insetting in a Net Zero Plan PDF 2 MB
To receive a presentation which will explain nature based solutions and how they have been embedded in the Authority’s Net Zero Plan.
Consideration was given to a presentation which explained the concept of nature based solutions and how they had been incorporated into the Authority’s Carbon Net Zero 2030 Action Plan.
The following measures had been included in the Net Zero Action Plan:
· Develop an offsetting/insetting strategy for the Authority;
· Build on the success of year 1 of the North East Community Forest through further tree planting and woodland creation;
· Develop existing and new projects to support insetting within the Authority workstreams and borough-wide emissions;
· Support the delivery of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy;
· Deliver the Biodiversity Action Plan and a range of biodiversity projects;
· Implement the introduction of the biodiversity net gain planning requirements
Funding for each of the measures had been obtained/identified and it was explained that initially these would be short term projects and in place by 2024, although it was noted that several of the streams had already commenced, including the delivery of the Biodiversity Action Plan and the work in relation to the North East Community Forest.
It was explained that Nature Based Solutions covered a variety of activities such as planting new forests, allowing forest regeneration following tree felling and improved forestry management. It also covered restorative agriculture practices including no-till agriculture, crop rotation and improved livestock management as well as the conservation and restoration of peatlands and coastal wetlands and the restoration of seagrass meadows.
Reference was made to the steps taken to ensure that Nature Based Solutions were incorporated into local policy and decision making. It was explained that from 2023 it would be mandatory for planning applications to deliver a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain on development schemes, subject to certain limited exceptions. Reference was also made to the new system of Spatial Strategies for Nature which would be set up across England to drive forward nature recovery and identify areas for habitat delivery and enhancement. It was also explained that local authorities would have a duty to look strategically at their policies and operations every 5 years and assess the action they could take to further the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity.
Reference was also made to the benefits that accrued from the planting of trees and new hedgerows in the Borough as part of the North East Community Forest. It was explained that trees and hedgerows contributed to localised cooling and reduced urban heat islands, which was particularly important in school grounds during hot weather. Trees and hedgerows also provided new habitats for wildlife, improved local air quality, improved the visual appearance of townscapes and assisted with surface water management, particularly in extreme weather events. It was also explained that the Woodland Carbon Code, which had been designed to provide reassurance about the carbon savings that planting trees in the Borough could realistically achieved by providing a carbon value for every tree planted. The Woodland Carbon Code was backed by the Government and was the only nature based offsetting scheme available to the Authority.
It was explained that Carbon Offsetting ... view the full minutes text for item E3/19