Paul Bryson

Environment Agency

Engaging with Natural Capital
Ensuring we take a customer focused approach when engaging around the concept of natural capital.

Please note: Applications for EA placements will be closed by CoP Tuesday 22nd August, please apply to before then.

Natural capital is jargon that engages some and turns off others. Technically the concept has significant merit but how do we ensure that this isn’t lost because practitioners can’t engage effectively with customers. A well-designed engagement study would support how practitioners improve environmental planning processes and engage with their partners. Questions to address would include:
• how do customers perceive the concept of natural capital – do they understand it, if not what information do they need to help them engage with it?
• what do those that do have a knowledge of natural capital expect it to help deliver/improve, and what role do they expect practitioners (e.g. the Environment Agency) to provide in its use?
The customer review would include national, Regional/Area, local groups and individuals. We would also want to gather views from those with an existing knowledge of Natural Capital concepts/approaches and those with no knowledge of it at all.
Based on the customer feedback we would want the researcher to help us take a customer focused approach and make recommendations on what practitioners would need to do to use natural capital in our future decision making, including what we need to do to build capacity amongst partners and customers to help them engage with it.
This is an opportunity to learn how a public sector organisation applies natural capital and ecosystem services concepts in practice to engage with partners and how we use social science understanding to inform our approach by being customer focused.

Research user (policy)
Research user (practitioner)
Economic Research
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Research Area: 
Natural hazards & extreme weather events
Pathogens & natural aquatic toxins
Urban ecosystems