Charities call for five-point nature plan to be added to General Election manifestos

The ENVI committee vote takes place on 29 November

The coalition of 80 charities, comprising the National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, and the Woodland Trust, has urged all political parties to include the five-point proposals in their general election manifestos, in a collective effort to fulfil public demand for heightened environmental ambition and to achieve key nature goals by 2050.

The five key requests include doubling the budget for wildlife-friendly farming to £6bn, implementing a Nature Recovery Obligation that holds polluters accountable for nature restoration, and initiating a large-scale scheme for creating green jobs.

Additionally, they are being urged to implement a rapid delivery program for the 30×30 ambition, which aims to restore protected sites and landscapes while safeguarding 30% of land and sea for nature.

The coalition is also calling on political parties to enact a new law that guarantees environmental rights, including access to clean air, water, and nature, and to incorporate nature into decision-making processes.

The campaign has also been backed by several celebrities including Steve Backshall, Chris Packham, Megan McCubbin, and Mya-Rose Craig.

National Trust’s director-general Hilary McGrady said: “With a general election on the horizon, and widespread support for greater environmental action, we need to see all political parties step up their ambition to respond to the nature crisis.

“Poll after poll shows that the public want a better future for our rivers and wildlife, for the changing climate, and for our next generation.”

Public preference

All five headline policies proposed by nature experts as part of the plan have received widespread public support, with each measure garnering support ranging from 68% to 83%, in a survey conducted by YouGov last month.

The survey also revealed that only 10% of British adults believe the Government is effectively addressing key environmental areas.

The results indicate that 61% of respondents feel the Government is falling short in ensuring water quality, while 47% express concern over its performance in areas such as air quality and nature-friendly farming.

Additionally, 49% of participants expressed dissatisfaction with the Government’s efforts to encourage environmental responsibility among businesses.

Among these policies, the public shows the highest level of support for making big businesses behave more environmentally responsibly, with 83% favouring the requirement for businesses to pay for cleaning up the pollution they generate.

Naturalist and explorer Steve Backshall said: “Two years ago, I was pleased to welcome the Government’s legal target to stop wildlife losses here in England, but since then I’ve seen nothing like the scale of action needed to make it happen, just more political point-scoring.

“That’s why I’m backing the Nature 2030 campaign, and its five demands to turn things around.

UK’s environmental commitments

In 2022, the UK signed an international deal to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, but research shows the nation is struggling to build toward this commitment.

According to a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report, the UK ranks among the countries with the highest levels of global nature depletion, with over one in seven native wildlife species facing extinction and over 40% experiencing decline.

Another Wildlife and Countryside Link report revealed that despite the goal of protecting 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030, the UK has achieved only 3% protection for land and 4% for sea, falling significantly short of the target.

The report further highlights that the current species abundance targets anticipate a decline until 2030, followed by a gradual recovery to the levels of that year. This projection suggests that by 2042, England could have a lower wildlife population than it currently does.

Earlier this year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced its accelerated rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) program, enabling farmers to implement additional actions aimed at enhancing ecosystems.


Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Profit always gets in the way somewhere!

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