Placements 2016 - Amy Binner

From valuing nature to policies and decision making: Co-developing and implementing a 25 year planning tool for the natural environment

(Image source: Dino Hristopoulos,

The placement integrated interdisciplinary knowledge from environmental, biological, and economic research within a high profile valuing nature project, working closely with policymakers to improve the uptake and usability of valuation research. A central focus was to explore trade-offs between ecosystem services, their contribution to engagement with the environment and impacts on human health and wellbeing.

Dr Binner co-developed the NCC/NEA-FO Integrated Model (TIM) and this placement formed an opportunity to work inside Defra to compile a detailed assessment of user needs for spatial decision support tools across the entire Defra network. This work aimed to provide a basis for developing TIM, transforming it from a complex computing model accessible to only a small number of academics, into a usable and pragmatic decision support tool for the Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment which is capable of dealing with complexity while providing clear and interpretable outputs.

As part of the placement, decision makers across the whole Defra network (including Natural England and the Environment Agency) participated in individual interviews, group discussions and workshops to explore potential use and uptake of the tool in different institutional settings, assess co-development options and develop a cross-disciplinary dialogue between academics, practitioners and policymakers.

Placement information: 

End of placement presentation 

End of placement video (and shown below)

Link to blog  Valuing Nature in Policies and Decision Making -'My First Day at Defra'

Starting placement presentation introducing placement ideas

Starting placement video 

End of placement video