Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Table of contents
• What is the 25 Year Environment Plan?
• What is the Outcome Indicator Framework?
• What is the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023?
• Will the Outcome Indicator Framework be reviewed following publication of the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023?
• Why are Aichi Targets referenced in the indicator metadata when these have been replaced by the updated Kunming-Montréal targets from COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity?
• What is a natural capital approach?
• What does the reporting status mean?
• Is the Outcome Indicator Framework an official or National Statistics publication?
• What are experimental statistics?
• How often will new data be added to this site?
• How do I suggest new or different data sources?
• What are you doing to fill data gaps?
• Will the indicators be used to assess progress?
• How accessible is this website?
• What browsers can I use to view this website?
What is the 25 Year Environment Plan?
The government published A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment in January 2018. It sets out 10 goals for improving the environment in England. A commitment was also made to develop a comprehensive set of indicators to measure environmental change.
What is the Outcome Indicator Framework?
The Outcome Indicator Framework report: Measuring environmental change: Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan, was published in May 2019. Drawing on advice from a wide range of experts and stakeholders, it presented 66 indicators to give a comprehensive view of the environment and how it is changing. The 2019 report set out in detail the purpose of the Outcome Indicator Framework and examples of how the indicators can be used.
The Outcome Indicator Framework has an important role in our longer-term understanding of the effectiveness of policies and interventions. The indicators are a systematic means of monitoring environmental change, recognising that complex natural and social systems will respond to change on a range of timescales.
The Outcome Indicator Framework will:
- enable clear communication of important environmental trends in England
- provide a set of indicators which relate to all aspects of the environment and all goals within the 25 Year Environment Plan
- communicate data which gives a high-level picture of the environment and how it is changing – more extensive data and indicators may additionally be available from other sources
- be used for assessment of changes in the natural environment, for example against the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan, or in applying a natural capital approach.
What is the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023?
The Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 is the first revision of the 25 Year Environment Plan. It builds on the 25 Year Environment Plan vision with a new plan setting out how the government will work with landowners, communities and businesses to deliver each of its goals for improving the environment, matched with interim targets to measure progress. Taking these actions will help us restore nature, reduce environmental pollution, and increase the prosperity of our country.
Will the Outcome Indicator Framework be reviewed following publication of the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023?
The Outcome Indicator Framework will undergo a review in 2024 to evaluate its ongoing suitability and consideration of best available evidence. This review will also consider the framework’s alignment with the updated policy landscape of the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023.
Current references to the 25 Year Environment Plan are maintained in advance of this review.
Why are Aichi Targets referenced in the indicator metadata when these have been replaced by the updated Kunming-Montréal targets from COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity?
When the Outcome Indicator Framework was first published in 2019 it included signposting of indicators to subjects relevant to Aichi Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. These references are still included in the current Outcome Indicator Framework update; however, it is to be noted that the Aichi Targets have now been superseded by new Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework Targets as agreed at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
An exercise to map the relevance of Outcome Indicator Framework indicators to these new targets will be completed as part of the forthcoming review of the framework. This exercise will be informed by the second phase of the Biodiversity Indicators review taking place in 2023. It is expected that future updates of the Outcome Indicator Framework will see a substitution of Aichi Target references with appropriately updated Convention on Biological Diversity target references.
What is a natural capital approach?
Natural capital is defined as the ‘elements of the environment which provide valuable goods and services to people such as clean air, clean water, food and recreation’. A natural capital approach is advocated by the 25 Year Environment Plan as it accounts for all the different ways the environment benefits society and so can inform better decision making and the concept of natural capital was used to develop the Outcome Indicator Framework. A natural capital approach sets out the need to:
- reduce pressures on natural capital (for example, pollution or plant disease)
- improve the state of natural assets (including air, water, land and seas)
- increase the benefits that we get from those assets
The 66 outcome indicators can be considered as either a measure of (a) the pressure on natural capital assets, (b) the extent/condition of natural capital assets or (c) the service or benefit associated with natural capital assets. This classification is not always straightforward since the condition of one natural capital asset (for example, air quality) may place a pressure on another (for example, wildlife habitat). It is important to recognise that multiple interactions occur across the indicators and categories. By classifying these indicators in this way, we can also show which direction of change in the indicator reflects an improvement to environment (that is, a downward trend for pressures and an upward trend for the condition of an asset or the provision of a benefit).
What does the reporting status mean?
We have used 3 categories of reporting status for the indicators:
- Final – no further significant development of the indicator is immediately expected, notwithstanding the future development of the framework as a whole.
- Interim – further development is necessary for the indicator to be complete; for example, England-level data may need to be extracted from a UK wide dataset, additional data may need to be added to the indicator, or the methods used for deriving an indicator are expected to be further developed.
- In development – the indicator is not currently available to report; further research is required and/or ongoing to determine the most suitable data and methods for analysis.
Where there is additional information about the status of indicator data collection and reporting, this will be displayed at the top of the indicator page.
Is the Outcome Indicator Framework an official or National Statistics publication?
Although the report and this dashboard are not classified as official statistics or a National Statistic compendium publication, where possible we follow the UK’s Code of Practice for Statistics in its production and in the compilation of the indicator framework within it. The Official statistics section of this website explains how we have demonstrated voluntary compliance with many parts of the Code, in line with the Guide for Voluntary Application of the Code.
What are experimental statistics?
Experimental statistics are newly developed or innovative statistics published so that users and stakeholders can be involved in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage. If you have feedback on any of our experimental statistics in the Outcome Indicator Framework, please contact us at 25YEPindicators@defra.gov.uk.
How often will new data be added to this site?
Where possible, we will provide annual updates to the Outcome Indicator Framework; these will include the introduction of new indicators together with updates to existing indicators we have already published. We will continue to collect data from existing sources where possible, in cooperation with topic experts.
How do I suggest new or different data sources?
If you have feedback on the data sources we have used or have suggestions for new data sources then please email us at 25YEPindicators@defra.gov.uk.
What are you doing to fill data gaps?
The technologies for monitoring and assessing change in the environment are advancing rapidly and offer new cost-effective methods (for example, Earth Observations, DNA methods, citizen science/mobile apps and new sensor technologies). We will look to update indicators to reflect these developments when appropriate but will ensure the environmental parameters used for reporting indicators are consistent and so retain the trend time-series.
Will the indicators be used to assess progress?
In the future, the Outcome Indicator Framework will be used for assessments of environmental change. Research into potential assessment approaches is taking place considering appropriate statistical techniques and timeframes.
How accessible is this website?
Our aim is to make this website as accessible and usable as possible for every user. We are working towards meeting AA level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), however we are aware of some issues at a higher compliance level such as:
- Assistive technology cannot read charts or maps on the site so please use the data table view instead.
- If you are using Internet Explorer, you will not be able to sort or filter data tables with keyboard navigation so please download the data files to sort and filter data.
What browsers can I use to view this website?
We are developing and testing our site in line with the Government Digital Service (GDS) guidance on designing for different browsers and devices. Our website works with most of the latest versions of the commonly used browsers listed in the ‘Browsers to test in’ section of the GDS guidance.
For further questions about the Outcome Indicator Framework site please contact us.