The vision of the Ecosystems Enhancement Programme (EEP) is to have enhanced biodiversity alongside the generation of clean energy by 2030. This will be achieved through a dedicated nature conservation programme that will deliver and manage conservation initiatives.
The EEP has three central aims:
- To have a net positive effect on biodiversity (that is, to go beyond the avoidance of impacts or the achievement of a neutral outcome alone).
- To address the compensation and ecosystem scale mitigation requirements Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) anticipates will arise from tidal lagoon development.
- To foster innovative and collaborative partnerships to deliver conservation action in the UK, EU and globally.
It is anticipated that in the longer-term the EEP will also undertake non-lagoon related biodiversity conservation potentially at global scale as well as within the UK.
The EEP will be underpinned by the following principles that will guide decision-making and working practices:
- Collaborating. We will engage early and on an ongoing basis with the aim of working closely with key stakeholders and organisations to develop ideas and deliver conservation action. For example, on a without prejudice basis, we are currently in discussions with the Sustainable Eel Group and The Flow Partnership on joint initiatives, and are learning lessons on the management of managed realignment sites from the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. In addition, where possible, TLP will enter into negotiated agreements with land owners with the intention that they continue to manage their land for nature conservation purposes.
- Pioneering. Our work will be innovative, trialling new solutions and approaches to biodiversity enhancement in the coastal zone; with the intention of showcasing how infrastructure development should be investing in the environment and responding to climate change.
- Outcome Focused. Action and investment through the EEP will be focused on meeting TLP’s compensation commitments and maximising the benefits for biodiversity in a sequential way (i.e. as future lagoon projects are brought forward, it enables us to invest more).
- Sustainable and Adaptive. TLP is committed to ensuring that compensatory habitats are maintained over the lifetime of lagoons. The EEP will focus on multi-ecosystem benefits and aims to ensure that these areas of habitat creation become part of a resilient ecological network that has space to adapt and evolve as sea-level rises and in the face of other climatic changes.
- Cost effective. EEP initiatives will be focused on achieving the best outcome for nature conservation within the budget available.