Natural England: Air Quality Enquiry for the UK
(2009)
JNCC Consultation 0938
Submission by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Enclosed is JNCC's response to a consultation from Natural England on the Air Quality for the UK. Submitted on 14th December 2009.
 
 

Summary of key points

 
This response focuses on the impacts of air quality on the natural environment in the context of UK nature conservation policies and obligations.
 
There is strong evidence of the effects of air pollution on semi-natural ecosystems in the UK.  Large areas of sensitive ecosystems remain at risk from atmospheric deposition in 2020.  This includes nature conservation sites protected under national and European legislation.
 
The UK‟s monitoring networks for concentrations and deposition of the main atmospheric air pollutants are adequate.  There is a need to review monitoring requirements in respect of ecosystem impacts.  JNCC is funding work in this area in collaboration with Defra and the country conservation agencies.
 
The Government‟s understanding of, and commitment to, investigating the environmental risks of air quality at a broad level is good.  However, there is a need for more work to interpret effects in relation to policies for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
 
Impacts on ecosystem services should be a central part of air pollution policy alongside human health. There are synergies between air pollution policies focused on human health and environmental health.
 
The UK Air Quality Strategy should give greater attention to protection of ecosystems, including more ambitious targets.
 
 
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Please cite as: JNCC Consultation 0938, (2009), Natural England: Air Quality Enquiry for the UK, Submission by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee