Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 54

Environmental Earth Observation
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0566
Earth observation (EO) is the process of gathering information about the Earth from a range of sensors to provide monitoring data at a range of scales. This POSTnote outlines some of the environmental uses and benefits of EO data, the potential opportunities from advances in relevant technologies and challenges facing the effective use of EO data.
The UK bee population
Published Friday, November 10, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0226
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 14 November 2017 from 4.30-5.30pm on the UK bee population. The debate will be opened by Alex Chalk MP.
Impact of Air and Water Pollution on the Environment and Public Health
Published Monday, October 23, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0073
This Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate scheduled to take place in the House of Lords on 26 October 2017 on the impact of air and water pollution on the environment and public health.
Commons Library analysis: Bees and neonicotinoids
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06656
This briefing concentrates on the interaction between bees and a group of insecticides - known as neonicotinoids - which have been in the spotlight after a number of studies yielded evidence (although much of that evidence is contested) of sub-lethal, harmful effects on bees. In July 2015, the UK Government granted an emergency authorisation for the use of restricted neonicotinoids on oil seed rape seeds in four English counties. Similar application for emergency authorisations for 2016 and 2017 were rejected.
Urban Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services
Published Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | POSTbriefs POST-PB-0026
This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban biodiversity and green infrastructure and the challenges for improving their provision - complementing POSTnote 538 on Green Space and Health.
Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture
Published Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0557
Agricultural practices can reduce water quality, degrade soils and cause biodiversity loss. This in turn can disrupt natural processes that support food production. Environmentally sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce environmental damage and restore such processes. This POSTnote summarises associated land management options, agricultural policies and the constraints imposed by a new trading environment.
Trophy Hunting: UK and international policy
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7908
This Commons Library Briefing Paper looks at the issues surrounding trophy hunting, particularly the sport of hunting lions. It examines the impacts of this industry on biodiversity and asks whether it can contribute positively to conservation.
Seagulls in coastal towns and cities
Published Friday, February 3, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0044
This Commons Library debate pack has been produced ahead of the debate on seagulls in coastal towns and cities. The debate will be in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2017, 2.30-4pm. The Member in charge is Oliver Colvile MP. Debate packs are intended to provide useful information for Members, including press and parliamentary material, on issues relating to the debate.
Environmental Crime
Published Tuesday, January 31, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0547
Environmental crime is generally used to describe any illegal activity that harms the environment. It can also have serious human health and social impacts. This POSTnote outlines the different types of environmental crime and options for tackling them.
Global Biodiversity
Published Friday, October 28, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0198
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate on global biodiversity, to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 1 November 2016 at 2.30pm. The Member in charge of this debate is Dame Caroline Spelman MP.
Driven grouse shooting
Published Thursday, October 27, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0191
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on Monday 31 October 2016 to consider e-petitions 125003 (Ban driven grouse shooting) and 164851 (Protect grouse moors and grouse shooting) relating to driven grouse shooting. The subject for the debate has been selected by the Petitions Committee.
Grouse shooting
Published Thursday, October 27, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7709
Grouse shooting takes place on moorlands managed for the birds. The Government believes that grouse shooting makes a significant economic, social and environmental contribution. However, others are concerned that grouse moor management is leading to environmental damage and the illegal killing of birds of prey. Two public petitions have been launched on this matter, on both sides of the argument. The Petitions Committee took evidence from witnesses on 18 October 2016, and a debate is scheduled for 31 October 2016.
Rewilding and Ecosystem Services
Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0537
This POSTnote explores the consequences of increasing the role of natural processes within landscapes. Evidence from the UK and abroad suggests that rewilding can benefit both wildlife and local people, but animal reintroductions could adversely affect some land-users.
Climate Change and Infectious Disease in Humans in the UK
Published Friday, December 18, 2015 | POSTbriefs POST-PB-0016
A short paper describing the impact of climate change on infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks in the UK.
Debate on an e-petition on neonicotinoids
Published Friday, December 4, 2015 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2015-0117
This pack has been compiled ahead of the debate on the use of neonicotinoids on crops: in Westminster Hall on Monday 7 November 2015 at 4.30pm. The subject of this debate has been chosen by the Petitions Committee and will consider e-Petition 104796: Don't kill our bees! Immediately halt the use of Neonicotinoids on crops
Deep Sea Mining
Published Friday, September 25, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0508
In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth £40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.
Securing UK Soil Health
Published Monday, August 24, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0502
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils. Soils underpin the global food system and regulate water, carbon and nitrogen cycles but are subject to pressures from population growth and climate change. In England & Wales, soil degradation costs around £1bn per year. This POSTnote outlines the evidence for measures that sustain soils and existing policies affecting soil health.
Marine Conservation Zones in England
Published Friday, July 17, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06129
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
Biodiversity Auditing
Published Thursday, March 26, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-490
Biodiversity supports the ecosystem services humans rely on for well-being and economic resources. Areas that have had an audit can make more effective use of ecological data to meet planning and conservation objectives for biodiversity. This POSTnote summarises the data sources used and the advantages of the audit approach for addressing biodiversity loss.
Infrastructure Bill: Invasive species
Published Friday, January 23, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN07086
The Infrasctructure Bill 2014-15 contains new measures to control invasive non-native species. This paper provides an overview of debate on these parts of the Bill for the Commons' Report Stage.

Displaying 1-20 out of 54

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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