Public policy evidence summaries

Our evidence summaries provide the most up-to-date research evidence on key topics and promote change for policymakers.

The ‘landscape’ of landscape monitoring

A survey of landscape and environmental change monitoring in England’s protected landscapes
"There is a strong local appetite to be involved in more nature restoration in England’s protected landscapes but lack of resource is cited as a significant hindrance. Monitoring is essential to track the progress of nature recovery outcomes and restoration interventions. This large-scale survey shows that in England’s protected landscapes local monitoring is limited, ad hoc, and not yet strongly linked to strategic outcomes frameworks."
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BSc (Hons) Environmental Science fieldwork - Crossing the River Dart

Responding to the UK's soil crisis

“The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself”
"Humans have relied on soils for millennia but, globally, soil health is threatened, particularly by climate change. Such large quantities of soil ending up in landfill sites is an
indication of the low interest value accorded to the soil by UK citizens, society, politicians and policy makers, even though soil has a key role to play in mitigating climate change."
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<p>Landfill, rubbish, waste, soil, shutterstock.</p>

Improving the UK’s freshwater quality

Identifying and quantifying sources of pollution
"The UK is failing to achieve sufficient water quality. With improvements in sewage treatment technology, pollution generated by agriculture has become more significant. High levels of agricultural fertilisers entering water systems are a leading cause of eutrophication that lowers water quality. No other country in the world has a chemical source apportionment model of equivalent range of sources, chemicals or scale to the Source Apportionment-Geographical Information System (SAGIS) Water Quality model.”
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<p>Shutterstock image, river</p>

Traditional building techniques shaping the future of construction and carbon reduction

The CobBauge project is a crossborder research project that aims to demonstrate that this traditional technique could play a role in the future of the construction industry
Efforts to reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint should focus not only on emissions from energy use during building occupancy, but also on emissions caused by the energy used or ‘embodied’ in the building’s construction.
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<p>CobBauge project</p>

Trailblazing clean maritime innovation

The Maritime 2050 strategy sets out how the UK can take a proactive role in driving the transition to zero emission shipping in its waters
"The challenge is encouraging smaller ports to decarbonise. Helping a hundred small harbours de-carbonise could potentially deliver the same impact as a large port de-carbonising.”
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<p>A series of high power DC electric charging stations has been installed around the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park (Credit - University of Plymouth)<br></p>

Preserving the planet’s lungs and securing the oxygen supply

The role of plankton in establishing broader pelagic ecosystem status
Human pressures are changing marine ecosystems. Information on the causes and impact of these pressures should be used to guide policy and conservation decisions.
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Plankton

The role of peatlands in achieving carbon net zero

Covering almost 10% of the UK, peatlands represent our single most important terrestrial carbon store
“Peatlands provide vital ecosystem services and more should be done to preserve and restore them. Greater consideration should be given to how peat is used, what can be done to prevent the deterioration of peat bogs and how they can be managed more carefully.”
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<p>Peat or peatlands</p>

How the University of Plymouth is supporting place-based solutions to achieve carbon net zero

Successfully achieving carbon net zero will require profound changes to the UK economy and society
Universities are rooted in their respective city and regional networks and, as organisations where knowledge is gained, produced and exercised, they should play a key role at the forefront of leading the country’s action to achieve carbon net zero.
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<p>360 Civic Centre</p>
<p>Parliament</p>

Public Policy

Providing evidence to support policy-making processes
The University of Plymouth has a prestigious record of engaging with and influencing policy, from legislation on microplastics, to innovation in offshore renewable energy to the health of coastal communities. We work with local, regional, national and international partners across a range of complex policy issues including soil erosion, anti-microbial resistance and digital interventions for Parkinsons’ sufferers.