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Government Minister Robin Walker met with the Royal Society of Biology and other scientific, conservation and wildlife charities at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) this week to discuss the opportunities and challenges of Brexit for environmental science and conservation.

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Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the RSB, and Dr Laura Bellingan FRSB, director of science policy, took part in the discussions, along with representatives from ZSL, Campaign for Science and Engineering, British Ecological Society, and Wildlife and Countryside Link. 

The discussion included topics such as funding for research and innovation, continent-wide collaborative programmes, talent recruitment in the science community and the importance of maintaining international environmental standards.

Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker said:
“I am determined that the UK will maintain our proud record on environmental science and conservation after leaving the EU.

“This Government is fully committed to supporting our world-class scientific community and has committed an extra £2bn funding for research and innovation to ensure we continue to attract the brightest minds to the UK as we exit the EU.

“We will use the unique opportunity exiting the EU affords to design the most effective framework in the UK for driving environmental improvement - delivering on our goal to put Britain at the vanguard of tackling global environmental challenges, from conservation to climate change.”

Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology said:
“The meeting was an excellent start and an opportunity to discuss the complex challenges ahead for science research and development and the role of environmental science in this.

“We look forward to ongoing discussions with Government and others, and to building on collaborative and joint working approaches across the sector.” 

Read more about our work on UK biosciences and Europe.
Read opinion piece: The 'EU effect' on our environment and more about Brexit and bioscience on the RSB blog.