The UK faces a range of environmental challenges that require action to ensure the Government’s aims, set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, are met. The project included a rapid review of what we know already about public perspectives and attitudes to the environment, a series of six wider community engagement events and a series of public dialogue workshops.
The project aims to support Defra to better understand people’s values and priorities for the environment. The project will generate options for taking these values and priorities into account in environmental policymaking.
The findings from the rapid evidence review and the first three of the wider community engagement events fed into the over-arching questions asked at the dialogue workshops. The findings and conclusions from these workshops were tested in three final community engagement events - although these had to be moved online as a result of the first national lockdown due to the COVID pandemic.
Involve was responsible for designing and delivering the dialogue workshops. These took place between January and April 2020 in London, Hull, and Chesterfield. A fourth workshop was planned in Kendal, but the lockdown meant this had to be cancelled. A final workshop, involving a group of participants from each of the previous workshops plus a range of policy makers from DEFRA and its agencies finished this stage of the work. This last workshop gave the participants a chance to engage with, strengthen and challenge our emerging findings from the previous workshops. Involve will also develop a guide for policy makers wanting to commission deliberative engagement about environmental priorities. This guide, and the final report on the findings from the work will be published early in 2022.
The design of the project's programme of work and the engagement processes was informed by a Rapid Evidence Review carried out by our project partners, NatCen. This review surveyed what is already known about the public's perspectives on the environment.