Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership

The aim of the Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership(EEP) is to work with land managers, industry, conservation managers and communities to allow the potential growth of Pembrokeshire’s economy while improving the environment of the Milford Haven and Cleddau catchment.

There is a growing concern over the loss of biodiversity in Pembrokeshire with the majority of Pembrokeshire Marine SAC features in unfavourable conservation status and nutrient loading into the Milford Haven  identified as a key priority action. The waterway is considered as being “full” with no headroom in the Milford Haven catchment, this presents a potential barrier to development and therefore any future schemes requiring a permit to discharge into the catchment will require some form of offsetting scheme.

The EEP has emerged in response to growing recognition of the need to create a new, innovative and collaborative approach to how we manage our natural resources. The work aims to develop and test the validity of a market-based nutrient trading scheme that provides a streamlined, consistent, robust nutrient assessment, and mitigation process.

This website provides full access to the feasibility study conducted in 2015 and a background to Payment for Ecosystem Services, alongside the Building Resilience Into Catchments (BRICs) development plan.  The current work focusing on phosphates and housing though ‘Building Natural Solutions’ is also highlighted.

Background & work completed to date

What is Payment for Ecosystem Services(PES)?

The diverse benefits that we derive from the natural environment are sometimes referred to as ecosystem services.

The idea behind Payment for Ecosystem Services(PES) is that those who provide ecosystem services – like any service – should be paid for doing so. PES therefore provides an opportunity to put a price on previously un-priced ecosystem services like climate regulation, water quality regulation and the provision of habitat for wildlife and, in doing so, brings them into the wider economy.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Ecobank Feasibility Study

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Ecobank feasibility study carried out in 2015 focused on testing the validity of development of a Welsh nutrient offsetting scheme.  This initial groundwork and background research established the framework for the development of the work that followed through four key areas of research:-

    1. Global Ecosystem Banking Initiatives
    2. Review and analysis of Pembrokeshire case studies
    3. Land Manager Assessments – Credits
    4. Credit Purchasing Potential Assessment – Debits

Building Resilience in Catchments(BRICs) Project

The Building Resilience into Catchments(BRICs) project delivered between 2018-2022 was combination of on the ground actions to improve water quality with the creation of a development plan for nutrient trading scheme within the Milford Haven catchment of the Cleddau River. The development plan proposed to deliver 400 tonnes of nitrogen removal across Pembrokeshire, over a five year period. The first 115 tonnes costing in the region of £450,000 on farmer payments, and the remaining 285 tonnes costing in the region of £5 million for farmer payments.

The development plan is supported by three reports providing further information on the drivers and structure, the quantification of nutrient reduction, and an implementation plan

Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions(EEP-BNS) project in 2022 researched and produced options for natural land management actions that can be used to ensure future development can take place that reduces the nutrients impacting water quality.  The work quantified the phosphate impact of planned housing development of the Pembrokeshire Local Development plan, engage with land managers to find, and cost solutions, creating mitigation plan options for specific developments shown through opportunity maps.

Guidance for how nutrient neutral development  applies to the agriculture sector was produced, alongside quantifying the phosphorus removal of previously completed BRICs development plan which was based in nitrogen removal.  At the point the BRICs suggested removing 115 tonnes of nitrogen, between 1 and 2 tonnes of phosphorus removal can be achieved.  The remaining actions to remove 285 tonnes of nitrogen could remove between 4.6 and 7 additional tonnes of phosphorus, the variance show the effect of targeting of high-risk areas.

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