Defra

DEFINITION: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK Government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards in the standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the UK.

See also: BEIS

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Pictured: Roydon Common Nature Reserve 

UK Government's spending on trees 'has plummeted by £20m since 2015'

The UK Government spent almost £20m less on tree planting in the financial year 2017-18 than it did in 2014-15, according to an analysis of official figures by Friends of the Earth (FotE).

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E-sustainability Alliance: Defra launches new coalition championing green IT

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a new initiative bringing together businesses, NGOs and policymakers in a joint ambition to making the UK's information technology (IT) sector more sustainable.

The Government has unveiled how it plans to leave the environment in a better state 

Deposit return schemes and biodiversity net-gain: Raft of new policies unveiled in Environment Bill

The UK Government has launched its new governance system on issues covering clean air, waste management and plastics pollution, natural capital approaches and water stewardship, in the form of the long-awaited Environment Bill. 

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Green GB Week delayed due to Brexit

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The UK's national food policy frameworks have not undergone a major update for 75+ years

Defra takes first step towards sustainable food system transformation

The Department for Food, the Environment and Rurual Affairs (Defra) has opened the first public consultation on its upcoming National Food Strategy, which aims address issues of environmental sustainability and nutrition across the food value chain.

Photo: ToryScot [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] 

Lord Ian Duncan appointed to BEIS, completing Department's new ministerial line-up

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Resources & Waste Strategy: edie publishes concise business guide to Government document

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Pictured: Castleshaw Upper Reservoir, Oldham 

Water resources infrastructure policy due this Autumn

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Post-Brexit environment watchdog must be transparent, green groups urge

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Eustice is a former farmer and the only Cornish MP to be granted a government position so far by Johnson. Image: UK Parliament 

George Eustice re-appointed to Defra by Boris Johnson

George Eustice MP has been given back his former role as Agriculture Minister by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after leaving the post in February.

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Cabinet reshuffle: Theresa Villiers replaces Michael Gove as Environment Secretary

Theresa Villiers last night (24 July) returned to Government by taking over from Michael Gove as UK Environment Secretary, as part of a radical change of cabinet from new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  

The roundtable was chaired by Business in the Community’s environmental director Gudrun Cartwright and included 16 other sustainability and climate leaders

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CCS, food waste and deposit return schemes: Recapping a week of major green policy announcements

As Boris Johnson settles into his first day as the UK Prime Minister, Defra, the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have released a flurry of documents to strengthen approaches to environmental regulation, energy policy and packaging production.

The Environment Secretary will also use today’s speech to build on the swelling notion of addressing the climate emergency Image: Chatham House

Michael Gove backs comprehensive 'all-in' deposit return system for plastics

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has publicly backed a deposit return system for plastic containers, irrespective of size, while also warning that time is running out to avert the climate emergency.

The analysis was conducted using Defra’s own impact assessments

Deposit return system for plastics could generate £2bn for UK economy

An "all-in" deposit return system that accounted for all types of drinks cans and bottles in the UK could generate up to £2bn for the economy over a 10-year period, compared to £250m for an "on-the-go" system that collected less.

Queen's Birthday Honours: The sustainability champions who made the 2019 list

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Webinar: Smart Energy Technologies for Sustainability and Resilience

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UK creates 'blue belt' of marine protected areas twice England's size

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The past three years have seen climate change and plastics sky-rocket up the UK's policy agenda. Photo Flickr EU2017EE Estonian Presidency

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Gove announces plans for a 'shadow watchdog' in the event of a no deal Brexit

Gove announces 'shadow watchdog' for environmental standards in event of no-deal Brexit

Environment secretary Michael Gove has announced plans for a "distinguished" lawyer to lead a shadow watchdog to oversee environmental protection in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Of the 3,980+ people directly employed by Defra, around 2,700 have been transferred to

Two-thirds of Defra staff shifted from environmental duties onto Brexit preparations

More than two-thirds of the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs' (Defra) employees have been taken out of their key roles and tasked with delivering Brexit, new official Government figures have revealed.

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Emma Howard Boyd reappointed as Environment Agency chair

Emma Howard Boyd has been reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA) by Secretary of State Michael Gove, with her second term set to run until September 2022.

A 10-week Defra consultation exploring whether property developers should be required to deliver a

Built environment sector calls for biodiversity focus in upcoming Environment Bill

A group of UK built environment businesses have penned a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, calling on future legislation to boost economic growth through restorative planning that benefits the environment.

In November last year, Environment Secretary Michael Gove dismissed reports that the UK will run out of drinking water if there is no Brexit deal

Water sector works with Defra to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

The government has been "working closely" with water companies to prepare for all scenarios of the UK's exit from the European Union, including a "no deal" Brexit.

Defra's George Eustice resigns over possible Article 50 delay

Agriculture Minister George Eustice has resigned today (28 February) over Brexit.

The government is exploring two variants of the deposit return system

All in or on-the-go?: Green economy reacts to Defra's deposit return scheme vision

The consultation on the UK's waste management process has sparked new debates on standardised waste collections and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime. But the green economy wants to go "all in" on deposit return systems.

Gove chooses WWF's Tony Juniper as preferred Natural England Chair candidate

Environment secretary Michael Gove has named WWF UK's executive director for advocacy and campaigns Tony Juniper as the Government's preferred candidate for the Natural England Chair position.

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Roydon Common Nature Reserve

Agency protecting English environment reaches 'crisis point'

Thousands of environmentally important sites across England are coming under threat as the government body charged with their care struggles with understaffing, slashed budgets and an increasing workload.

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The Office for Environmental Protection will have the power to bring legal proceedings against the government

Government urged to address funding and data concerns for post-Brexit environment watchdog

The UK Government has been urged to equip any new watchdog for future environmental standards with adequate funding and performance measuring qualities, a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has claimed.

The watchdog will replace the power of the European Commission to take governments to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for not fulfilling their obligations

Draft Environment Bill outlines vision for UK's post-Brexit green watchdog

The UK Government has published a partial draft for its anticipated Environment Bill, outlining the powers and limitations of the nation's new post-Brexit watchdog for green standards.

Experts of the green economy sweep through the 147-page document to outline their thoughts

Resources and Waste Strategy: Green business community reacts

In the newly-launched Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra has pledged to make producers pay for the full costs of recycling or disposing the packaging they produce. But how has this commitment, alongside the Strategy's other key measures, been met by members of the green community?

Under the proposals, producers will be forced to pay full net-costs of disposal of packaging they place on the market – up from just 10% now

Major packaging reforms spearhead Resources and Waste Strategy

A huge overhaul of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system has been proposed today (18 December) in the Government's Resources & Waste Strategy, which also includes plans for separate household food waste collections and a nationwide deposit return scheme.

The statistics arrive in the same week that a Government Minister hinted the imminent Resources & Waste Strategy will “require separate food waste collections

England stays in 'doldrums' as recycling rates inch forward

England's household recycling rates have increased by 0.3% to 45.2% in 2017, the latest Government statistics have revealed.

Some developers already follow a biodiversity net-gain approach voluntarily

Defra launches call for evidence on 'biodiversity net-gain' developments

The Government is consulting on whether property developers should be required to deliver a "biodiversity net-gain" when building new housing or commercial projects.

Webinar: 30-minute masterclass: How to engage with stakeholders on sustainability

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During the Theos annual lecture in London, Gove said he would carry on as Environment Secretary “for as long as I can be useful” to Defra

Michael Gove confirms further single-use plastic measures to feature in Resources & Waste Strategy

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