Introduction and aims
The government published the 25 Year Environment Plan in January 2018 setting out goals for improving the environment in England. A commitment was made to develop a comprehensive set of indicators to measure environmental change. These indicators help us to show how the environment is changing over time. This will support the assessment of policies and other interventions, including how we are delivering on international and domestic commitments. In particular, the Outcome Indicator Framework can support the statutory cycle of monitoring, planning and reporting on progress in improving the environment which will be introduced through the Environment Bill.
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.