Carbon Capture and Storage - NSTA Licences (NSTA WMS)

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This dataset contains current UK Continental Shelf Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage licences.

  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to a number of techniques and processes which capture carbon dioxide emissions, generally from industrial processes. The carbon dioxide (CO2) can then be transported, including via repurposed gas pipelines, and stored, for example in underground locations    CO2 will typically be stored at depths greater than 800 metres, where it no longer behaves as a gas, but instead as a supercritical fluid. The same geological formations that are well understood in the UK from many decades of oil and gas production, such as the Triassic Bunter Formation and Tertiary Forties Sandstones, are also likely to be ideal for the storage of carbon dioxide. 
  • CCS involves the capture of CO2 emissions from industrial processes, such as steel and cement production, the generation of hydrogen through steam reforming, or from the burning of biomass or fossil fuels in power generation. It may also be used in combination with emerging direct air capture technologies. This carbon dioxide is then transported from where it was produced, via ship or in a pipeline, and stored deep underground in geological formations.   
  • The NSTA is the licensing authority for offshore CO2 storage in the UK, approving and issuing carbon dioxide storage and appraisal licences, storage permits, and maintaining the carbon storage public register.    
  • Certain activities proposed under CS licences may also be subject to specific environmental assessment by BEIS (Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED)).    
  • A licensee also requires a lease from the Crown Estate/Crown Estate Scotland (as applicable) before undertaking storage activities.    
  • NSTA/TCE/CES joint statement   
  • NSTA/OFGEM Memorandum of Understanding   
  • The list of carbon dioxide appraisal and storage projects licensed by the NSTA can be seen here    
  • The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution    
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (Chapter 11, Executive Summary)   
  • BEIS leads government policy on CCS   

European Diploma Areas (SNH WMS)

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The European Diploma is an award established by the Council of Europe under Regulation (65) 6 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 6 March 1965 for certain landscapes, reserves and protected national features, and Resolution (73) 4 of 19 January 1973 on the Regulations for the European Diploma (amended and revised by Resolution (88) 39 of 5 December 1988, (89) 12 of 19 June 1989 and (91) 16 of 17 June 1989). By awarding the European Diploma, the Council of Europe recognises that the area is of particular European interest for natural-heritage and that the area is properly protected. The Diploma can be awarded to national parks, nature reserves or natural areas, sites or features. The award is for a five-year period. Annual reports are required for each area, and the renewal of the award at 5 years is only made after independent assessment of the site. The Diploma can be withdrawn at any time if the area comes under threat or suffers serious damage.

Geological Conservation Review Sites (SNH WMS)

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The Geological Conservation Review (GCR) is the register of known nationally and internationally important Earth science (geological and geomorphological) sites in Great Britain.
The GCR underpins designation of Earth science features in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The majority of GCR sites, therefore, now have statutory protection through designation as notified features in SSSIs. In these cases the GCR site boundary indicates the extent of the Earth science interest within the SSSI. Some GCR sites, however, remain unnotified and are known as unnotified GCR sites.
National Park Authorities and some Local Authorities treat these as candidate SSSIs and afford them the same protection as SSSIs. Some unnotified GCR sites are also Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS), and as such they are afforded levels of protection appropriate to locally important sites (though they are, themselves, considered to be of national or international importance).
The remaining unnotified GCR sites have no statutory protection, although they are considered to be sites of national or international importance. Initially developed between 1977 and 1990, the GCR network is periodically updated and this dataset is subject to change. Boundaries of GCR sites are often not co-incident with SSSIs.
Captured to old version of OSMM (the same one as SSSIs) so will need to be adjusted to PAI.

Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) - Public Records (ICES WMS)

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A central portal for data on the distribution and abundance of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), (and organisms considered to be indicators of VMEs) across the North Atlantic has been set up by the Joint ICES/NAFO Working Group on Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC).  Criteria used to select habitats and indicators for inclusion in the database were those described in the FAO International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-sea Fisheries in the High Seas (FAO, 2009).  

The database is comprised of:

  1. 'VME habitats' that are records for which there is unequivocal evidence for a VME, e.g. ROV observations of a coral reef
  2. 'VME indicators' which are records that suggest the presence of a VME with varying degrees of uncertainty. For VME indicators a weighting system of vulnerability and uncertainty is provided as part of the database to aid interpretation

The VME database may be used for many purposes. ICES uses it when providing scientifically-robust advice on the distribution of VMEs and recommending possible management solutions such as bottom fishing closures within North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)​ waters to protect VMEs. 


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