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DEFRA secondment – Dr Christopher Yap

DEFRA secondment – Dr Christopher Yap

The government has committed to publishing a Land Use Framework for England. This much needed legislation has the potential to support land use decision making that can balance competing demands on land, not least in relation to food production, carbon sequestration, biodiversity net gain, and housing and infrastructure development.

From November 2022 to June 2023, Dr Christopher Yap was seconded into the Central Science Division of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs to deliver research on the governance of environmental land use transitions to inform the development of the Land Use Framework.

This secondment was a valuable opportunity to contribute to the development of a national policy that has the potential to significantly impact every area of the food system. It was chance to learn first-hand about how ambitious policy is developed across governmental departments and agencies. Crucially, it was an opportunity to build productive relationships and present the case for a focus on governance processes and institutions, that is so central to the FixOurFood programme.

Since ending the secondment, Christopher has continued his engagement with Defra and recently presented his research to Defra’s ‘Systems’ Community of Practice that brings together over a hundred civil servants that want to engage with systems approaches.