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Defra identifies tackling waste crime as key target

New approaches in dealing with waste crime are promised by Defra as part of its departmental strategy until 2020.

It is also pledging to publish a 25-year ’framework for action’ on the environment in the spring. The plan itself will be developed by the end of this year.

The 2020 strategy document covers the environment, food and farming, the rural economy and floods. It promises “new approaches for tackling waste crime”, including using £20m from reform of the Landfill Communities Fund, and for tackling litter.

Departments across Whitehall are setting out their priorities in such documents, and Defra’s says: “Our purpose is to unleash the economic potential of food and farming, nature and the countryside, champion the environment and provide security against floods, animal and plant diseases and other hazards.”

The section entitled ’Cleaner, healthier environment, benefiting people and the economy’ says the UK’s prosperity, security and wellbeing depend on a healthy natural environment.

It says Defra will work with the Natural Capital Committee to develop ”a comprehensive 25-year plan for the environment”. The committee is an independent advisory body, set up in 2012, which provides advice to the Government on the state of England’s natural assets including forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans.

The plan will:

  • help ensure the environment is appropriately maintained and improved so it flourishes, and continues to underpin our economic success and wellbeing
  • develop the structures and tools to draw together economic, social and scientific evidence
  • integrate delivery and decision-making on environmental quality
  • bring together business, environmental non-governmental organisations and others to deliver improvements to the environment

The strategy says delivery of its 25-year plan will be supported by better use of data and technology, including public access to Defra’s own data.

It goes on: “Defra will work smartly and efficiently, focusing on those things that only Government can provide. We will empower others by releasing more data, reducing red tape and regulation, enabling innovation, boosting skills and opening up new markets.

“We will share responsibility by managing risks, costs and incentives in ways that rebalance the relationship between Government, individuals and business. We will secure our strategic objectives in the EU and internationally.

“To deliver a strong economy and healthy environment that provides security and opportunity for all, we will collaborate with others, working closely with the private sector and civil society, acting together across Defra and with the rest of Government.”

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