Planet Possible tells the stories of the people paving the way for positive planetary and societal change. Join host Niki Roach as she explores what's possible with practitioners and visionaries working on the big issues like adaptation and resilience to climate change, enhancing our natural environment and improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the environment sector. Everything is connected, follow this series as we explore those connections and discover what's really possible for our planet. Planet Possible is brought to you by CIWEM; a community of environmental professionals creating a more positive world. Season 5 of Planet Possible is sponsored by Accordion - find out more at Accordion.live Not enough time to listen to a full episode? Choose the length of pod to fit the time you have with Accordion by clicking the link above.
41:15Are you flood ready? How do you find out if your home is at risk of flooding? What can you do to protect your home and if water does suddenly come through your door, what should you do next?With much of England and Scotland experiencing rainfall 70% above average for December, flooding has impacted thousands of homes and businesses. Join Niki and her co-host and Environment Agency Environment Manager, Ian Withers as they explore the role of the EA in flood forecasting, warning and operational response.We hear the first hand impact of flooding from Mary Long-Donaugh OBE, who after experiencing significant flooding in 2007 is now a property flood resilience advocate.And as ever, find out what our guests decided to make possible with the Planet Possible Magic Wand…We mentioned these in the pod…If you’re in the UK you can check your risk of flooding here: https://www.gov.uk/check-floodingCheck out Mary’s free flood guides here: https://floodmary.comWarch the sandbag test here: https://floodmary.com/2022/02/23/when-a-flood-occurs-everyone-shouts-for-sandbags/
37:202023 is set to be the hottest year on record with temperatures 1.4 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average and sea surface temperatures for the polar oceans reaching almost 21 degrees C in October. In recent years we’ve seen the climate COPs making headline news - so what was it like to attend COP28, how significant were the outputs - and how did the paradox of a fossil fuel economy hosting COP hosting a COP play out?Join Niki and her co-host and Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commissioner, Adam Ashman as they explore what COP28 means at a national and local level and hear from CIWEM President Bushra Hussain and Chair of the Trustee Board, Annie Shepperd, as they tell us about their COP28 experiences.
46:16You might already have a view on whether it’s a helpful way of bringing some greenery to a tricky space – or that it should be banned entirely. Either way, we’re going to explore in this episode some of the science and evidence behind the use of plastic grass, think about why it’s proving so popular and explore some great alternatives for people to think about. We’re joined by a fantastic co-host, Dr Chloe Sutcliffe of the Royal horticultural Society, and we speak with Professor Ross Cameron from the University of Sheffield on the radical changes he proposed need to be made to the way we think about our gardens.You can read more about Professor Cameron’s paper that we chat about during the show here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/cut-council-tax-green-gardeners-help-cities-tackle-climate-change
How To Fix The UK Water Sector
35:53Water in the UK has become both a political football and a source of vast public anger. Storm overflows, sewage spills, dying rivers and dividend payouts have dominated debates everywhere from parliament to the pub. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and clearly there are huge and complex issues... but what are the answers?CIWEM Director of Policy Al Chisholm is in a unique position of objectivity and influence. He's across the detail and the breadth of the issues. Niki Roach, with her vast and varied experience within the water industry senses the nuances that the public may not see.Between them they have an honest, focused and practical discussion about what the future of UK Water should be. Is the ownership model right? Is regulation suitable and strong enough? With a general election on the horizon, what do the major political parties want to do? What will win out - big infrastructure or nature based solutions?This is an essential listen not only for those in the water industry but anyone and everyone who wants the water sector in the UK fixed.
38:41If you’re in the UK you’ll have heard about recent proposed changes to nutrient neutrality. Adding to the wider debate about the health of our rivers across England in particular, we explore the proposed changes & what they could mean for river health.Niki is joined by Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow and the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee who in 2021 put forward the private members bill that kickstarted much of the debate around river health. Dr Gabriel Connor-Streich joins Niki to co-host and offer his perspective based on his experience of developing nutrient neutrality guidance with Natural England and more recently advocating for an alternative approach. An audio transcript of this episode will be available shortly after release & you can listen to the Accordion version of the episode here - https://www.accordion.live/planetpossible/This season of Planet Possible is sponsored by Accordion.
32:53Uruguay has been facing the longest drought the country has ever recorded in it’s capital Montevideo, leaving the city almost completely dry and the Paso Severino reservoir, supplying over half the country’s 3.4 millions people, at 2.4% capacity in late June. This is especially fascinating for a country that in 2004 enshrined access to water as a fundamental right in it’s constitution.To help us understand more about how Montevideo got here, what’s happening now and crucially, what lessons can we identify we're joined by a Uruguayan researcher, winner of the L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award and Professor at the University Center of the Eastern Region of the University of the Republic.
39:39*Content warning: This podcast contains brief mentions of experiences around mental ill-health and miscarriage which some listeners may find upsetting.Many different types of neurodivergence exist, and it can be hard to understand what workplace adjustments we can make that will support everyone. What constitutes a reasonable request? Whose responsibility is it? Niki Roach is joined by Lea Nightingale, JBA Consulting & CIEEM; Zoe Brunswick, RSK; Rai Hastie, The Environment Agency; Francesca Brahmbhatt, CIWEM; and Emily Clarke, Binnies to try to unpick some of those questions and provide tips to help shape a better work environment for all. Harnessing neurodiversity in the workplaceWorkplaces and practices have been designed around neurotypical thinking, but the changes we can make to support neurodivergent thinking make the workplace more supportive for everyone. This podcast explores how we can create more inclusive cultures for neurodivergent colleagues. We also discuss why networks are so important for both employees and employers and how to support these networks in your workplace.Inclusive principles:Learn from those with lived experiences Be an employer of choiceLook for barriers to inclusionDiscuss what reasonable adjustments look likeWhat neurodiversity networks enable:Allow people who face common challenges to come together Sharing of personal stories and ways or working Shaping new policies and HR best practice CIWEM is dedicated to sharing knowledge on neurodiversity, to get involved, please contact Francesca at [email protected] more from CIWEM on neurodiversity below: Work, neurodivergence and me https://www.ciwem.org/news/work-neurodivergence-and-meCIWEM celebrates neurodiversity within the team: https://www.ciwem.org/news/ciwem-celebrates-neurodiversity-within-the-teamSupport neurodiversity in the workplace: https://rskgroup.com/life-at-rsk/supporting-neurodiversity-in-the-workplace/This special episode of Planet Possible is sponsored by RSK.
A Fresh Water Future?
24:37What does the future of water look like? Do we need a single organisation managing our water catchments and do we need more resources to regulate the quality and quantity of our water? Join the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, John Curtin and CIWEM's Director of Policy, Alastair Chisholm as we explore these topics - and find out what John's biggest environmental concern is.A fresh water future?You can read more from the conversation in CIWEM's new series, A Fresh Water Future - just click the below.A Fresh Water Future - HomeIn the UK our freshwaters are under stress like never before. Pollution from farming, wastewater and sewage, and impermeable urban surfaces is precipitating a steady decline in our water’s health despite a raft of existing regulation aimed at protecting it.On top of this, climate change is exacerbating these challenges through droughts, floods and extreme weather.The public and politicians are gradually waking up to this. But what can be done? We need food, we need housing, we need infrastructure. But above all we need a healthy environment – with freshwater as its lifeblood – to sustain us.So how do we achieve healthy rivers, lakes and seas and a resilient water system for people?From sewage pollution to flood and drought resilience, A Fresh Water Future is a space for CIWEM research, opinion, interviews and guest features on how we can manage water better in the future.This special episode of Planet Possible is sponsored by Skewb.
The WaterUK apology storm
14:36On the day we hear an apology from WaterUK on behalf of the water sector for sewage pollution from storm overflows, we wanted to explore what this really means for customers and the environment and whether there are any unintended consequences. We’re joined by the acting CEO of the Environment Agency John Curtin and Niki’s co-host and CIWEM Director of Policy, Al Chisholm to discuss their reflections.
Valuing our land
46:05Join us for the Season Finale of the pod and our first on-location episode! Niki and co-host Alastair Chisholm head to Spains Hall Estate in north Essex to meet Archie Ruggles-Brise and explore some of his innovative approaches to managing the land - and water - across the estate. Listen as we explore the estate, hear about the approaches to natural flood management, biodiversity net gain, natural capital agroforestry and topped off with a visit to one of the beaver lodges.You can find out more about the work of Spains Hall here: https://www.spainshallestate.co.uk/environmentFind out more about becoming a member of CIWEM here: https://www.ciwem.org/membership/Thanks to our season 4 sponsors Skewb for supporting Planet Possible.