92 steps to nature’s recovery?

Tuesday 7th June 2011

The Wildlife Trusts welcome the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper, published today (7 June), and praise the level of ambition contained within The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature.

The recognition of the need for restoration and recovery of the natural environment at a landscape-scale is applauded.

The Wildlife Trusts also welcome the commitment to establish Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs). There are concerns, however, that initiating just 12 could seriously limit the scale of nature restoration. The Wildlife Trusts want to improve wildlife habitats across the whole country, and now.

There is a vital need to ensure it influences the current policy reforms around planning, development and growth.

Although the White Paper’s vision is both clear and admirable it does not provide enough detail as to how the 92 commitments within it will be achieved. Nor does it commit to enshrining its aspirations in law.

The Wildlife Trusts now urge Government to make the White Paper’s implementation a national priority and drive forward this process with urgency.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“How this White Paper is implemented and adopted by all Government departments will be critical. There is a vital need to ensure it influences the current policy reforms around planning, development and growth.

The Wildlife Trusts welcome the commitment to encourage and support Local Nature Partnerships where local areas wish to establish them. The Wildlife Trusts have, for years, been delivering landscape-scale conservation with farmers, landowners and local communities on the ground - through Living Landscape schemes - on a voluntary basis. All are working to reconnect people to nature where they live. This approach has been recognised and needs to be driven forward and implemented with sufficient resources.

Paul Wilkinson continued:

“We initiated the call for this White Paper because we believed the time had come for the state to show leadership in securing nature’s recovery. Although we hugely welcome this vision within this White Paper, it is disappointing that a commitment to enshrining the aspirations in statute has not been made. The Wildlife Trusts will keep up pressure on the Government to deliver against their vision and will continue to challenge for new policy and legislation, if we feel it is needed, to secure nature’s recovery.”

Story by RSWT
More Information

Anna Guthrie (Media & PR Manager)
Office: 01636 670075 / Mobile: 07887 754659 / Email: aguthrie@wildlifetrusts.org

Tanya Perdikou (Media & Campaigns Officer)
Office: 01636 670057 / Mobile: 07887 754657 / Email: tperdikou@wildlifetrusts.org