Let’s Celebrate Volunteers: Policy Team

CIEEM is continually growing in influence by advising decision-makers on policy and practice to improve the natural environment for both people and nature. We simply would not be in this position without the expertise and evidence provided by our policy volunteers. Our Action 2030 volunteers are also pushing us to lead the way on addressing the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis by providing us with advice and expertise.

We have 48 Country Policy Group volunteers (five of whom also sit on the Strategic Policy Panel) and 15 Strategic Policy Panel volunteers. In 2021 alone, our policy volunteers helped us:

  • submit 17 consultation responses across the UK devolved nations and Republic of Ireland.
  • publish eight policy documents including briefing papers, position statements and information for members.
  • build relationships with governments and Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations through meetings and events.
  • build relationships with other environmental organisations by representing us at Environment Link events.
  • represent CIEEM’s views on government working groups on biodiversity in planning, environmental policy, and agriculture.
  • achieve other actions as highlighted in the infographics linked here: UK and England, All-Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Contributions to policy work vary depending on the type and number of consultations published by policy makers. For each briefing, position statement and consultation response, our volunteers donate a significant amount of time in reading these documents and providing their expert recommendations.

Our 14 Action 2030 volunteers have gone above and beyond to provide advice to both CIEEM and our members in addressing the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. In the last 12 months, they helped to deliver a whole host of free resources for members on these topics, as well as inputting to our own Carbon Reduction Plan to reach net zero. Last year we published seven blogs and two In Practice articles by Action 2030 group members, and hosted three webinars by the Action 2030 group. A small working group of members is also currently producing guidance on the use of sustainable materials and alternative methods in ecology and environmental management. A full summary of the group’s work in 2021-22 can be found in our Action 2030 project report.

You can find out more about our policy volunteers and the members of the Action 2030 working group and their work to date on our Action 2030 and Influencing Policy webpages.


The CIEEM Policy Team Staff says: “CIEEM’s Policy Groups, at both the strategic and country level, are crucial to our efforts to raise the voice of the ecology and environmental management sectors, and influence legislation and policy for the benefit of nature and society. We simply would not be in the position that we are now – growing in influence, and becoming a recognised and trusted expert voice – without the expertise, evidence and advice provided by you.

On behalf of the Governing Board, the Secretariat and – most importantly – our members who have benefitted directly from your work as part of our policy groups, we would like to offer you our thanks for the time you have contributed to driving forward the success of CIEEM’s policy work.

Your dedication and efficiency have been greatly appreciated and we hope to see you remain as an active part of CIEEM in the future. We hope that you will continue to be involved in future activities with us, and thank you again for all your hard work and support.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Reeves (Head of Policy), Amber Connett (Policy Officer), Annie Robinson (Scotland Project Officer), Elizabeth O’Reilly (Ireland Project Officer) and Mandy Marsh (Wales Project Officer).”


Why do CIEEM members volunteer for the CIEEM Policy Team?

This is what they said…

 Emily Williams MCIEEM – Wales Policy Group Member

“I’ve found being a member very interesting and am pleased to have been able to contribute to various consultations and use my own experience/observations to influence change for the better. Being a member has also proven valuable to my CPD through learning more about other aspects of environmental policy (e.g. farming) that I wouldn’t typically come across in my line of work.”

Craig Llewellyn MCIEEM – Strategic Policy Panel and Wales Policy Group Member

“Being accepted on to the SPP and WPG gave me the opportunity to represent my institute at a national level on upcoming policy and legislation relevant to our industry. It provided me with opportunities in contributing to national consultation responses, positions statements, attending government meetings, and working with other policy advisors to develop new policy guidance, while engaging with key stakeholders.”

John Box CEcol CEnv FCIEEM – Action 2030 Working Group Chair

“Volunteering for CIEEM has always seemed the natural thing to do. The staff are brilliant and really welcoming. The view you get of environmental management and ecology is more than just national. Britain and the island of Ireland can have such different challenges and issues. I’ve done all sorts of voluntary activities with CIEEM over the years. CIEEM gets bigger and better and so do the opportunities to help.”


We are now recruiting for more volunteers to join our Policy Team!

We’re seeking experts to take part in our Country Policy Groups to help us to raise the voice of the sector and shape policy even more. To ensure we are incorporating views from a broad range of experiences, we are particularly keen to hear from members:

  • Based in Northern Ireland
  • Based in England and working in Local Authorities, academia and the marine environment
  • Based in Scotland

As a Country Policy Group member, we ask that you:

  • Review and comment on consultation responses that are relevant to your expertise.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities for policy engagement.
  • Input into the development and production of Country Policy Group projects. These include, but are not limited to, advice notes, briefings, position statements and events.
  • Where possible, help with gathering contacts and setting up meetings to communicate our policy positions and build relationships.

If you’re interested in joining us, please send a biography setting out your experience and interest in policy to policy@cieem.net. Applications are open to CIEEM members at all grades. Please do get in touch if you have any questions! Places are limited so all applications will be reviewed by existing Policy Group members.

We’re also seeking volunteers for our Action 2030 Project, that will see us reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and lead the way for the profession in addressing the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. Action 2030 is led by a working group of members who:

  • Challenge and provide advice to CIEEM on achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030
  • Provide information and advice to members on how they can help to address the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis through their professional work.
  • Identify means by which we can lead change to professional practice to reflect opportunities to address the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.
  • Promote the use of nature-based solutions
  • Build relationships and share knowledge with other relevant working groups.

We have a couple of spaces available on the group and would love to hear from members keen to make a difference! To apply, please send a biography setting out your experience, why you would like to join, and one action you have/will take to address the climate emergency – big or small! Email us at policy@cieem.net.