Papers in Science and Nature:
- Governments have a responsibility to develop and resource resilience strategies
- Governments should act together at the international level to build resilience; sharing expertise, co-ordinating policy and pooling resources to confront common risks
- To limit the need for costly disaster responses, more national and international funds will need to be directed to measures that build resilience to extreme weather
- The purpose, design and implementation of policy frameworks covering climate change, disaster risk reduction and development should be aligned and consistent regarding extreme weather
- Those who make and implement policies need to take practical measures to protect people and their assets from extreme weather.
- The risks posed by extreme weather need to be better accounted for in the wider financial system, in order to inform valuations and investment decisions and to incentivise organisations to reduce their exposure
- Information about extreme weather should be suitable for users’ needs. Funders should encourage collaborations and ongoing dialogue between producers and users of knowledge
- Research to improve the understanding of risks from current weather and to model accurately future climate change impacts should be increased to provide relevant information for decision-makers, particularly at regional and local levels.
Natural England has published Climate Change Refugia for the Fauna and Flora of England (NECR162), a substantial review and assessment to inform decisions on conservation planning for future climate change in England, looking in particular at past responses of different fauna and flora and areas that acted as refugia under past climate change. Accompanied by Palaeoecological evidence to inform identification of potential climatic change refugia and areas for ecological restoration (NECR163 edition 1).
The Arts Council England has published a review on Equality and Diversity within the Arts and Cultural Sector in England (September 2014). Key recommendations are:
- Undertake in-depth qualitative research to explore arts and cultural participation and attendance barriers and motivations among people with different disabilities, within different ethnic groups and at different ages
- Undertake in-depth qualitative research to explore gender-based tastes and preferences for arts and culture among boys and girls aged under-15, and the influence of parental behaviours and attitudes on child participation. Such research could be complemented by identification of effective practice across the sector in engaging and involving boys and young men in arts and culture
- Complete literature reviews and qualitative research to identify workforce development and change management models that support leaders within the sector to transform organisational cultures and develop a more equal and diverse workforce
- In the context of the arts and cultural sector, undertake in-depth qualitative research on equality and diversity issues facing the protected groups of sexual orientation, religion and/or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership status or gender re-assignment
- Undertake additional quantitative data analysis of key datasets such as the Taking Part Survey, particularly across protected characteristics (e.g. by sexual orientation, ethnic groups within the 2011 census categories) where there has thus far been limited analysis
- Complete a focused literature review specifically on equality and diversity issues in relation to the library sector.
Debate on the balance of funding to national and regional organizations by the Arts Council England has been continuing through 2014. The authors of the report Rebalancing our Cultural Capital produced a further report focusing on Arts Lottery funding in the UK: Policy for the Lottery, Arts and Community in England, which examined the approach of the Arts Council to allocating lottery-derived funding. Further evidence is set out on the RoCC and PLACE websites.
Most recently, the UK parliament's House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee has published the report of an inquiry on the Work of Arts Council England. The report emphasises the importance of the Arts Council's funding, but recommends a need to change the balance of funding to favour regional arts, culture and (non-national) museums provision outside Greater London. Concerns are raised on falling central government funding and there is seen to be a need for development of thinking on philanthropy and the role of local councils.
Welcome to Policy: Science, Biodiversity and Museums
This site covers a wide range of policy issues relating to biodiversity, museums and science. It's selective and although it's a blog it is more alert than comment. John Jackson from the Natural History Museum in London maintains the site, primarily to alert colleagues and collaborators to new developments - you can use the contact link on the top right of this page. It is not an official organisational site.