One year on…what shade of green?

Saturday 14th May 2011

Laws to protect wildlife must stay

On the first anniversary of David Cameron’s promise to be the ‘greenest government ever’, The Wildlife Trusts urge him to ramp up his efforts.

Chief executives from 15 environment, wildlife and development charities, including The Wildlife Trusts, have written an open letter to the Prime Minister. They express disappointment, at the lack of progress the Government has made in fulfilling this promise in the first 12 months, and challenge the Government to achieve far more.

The Wildlife Trusts applaud the Government’s commitment to a Natural Environment White Paper, due to be published next month. But have concerns about the current ‘red tape challenge’, in which all 278 pieces of environmental legislation and regulations are under review.

The Prime Minister said: “From now on the presumption will be that regulations will go, unless someone has a good reason for them to stay.”

Such messages send worrying signals about how our wildlife will be protected in future. Paul Wilkinson, The Wildlife Trusts’ Head of Living Landscape, said:

We need to be the generation that puts nature back on the map

“There are very good reasons for wildlife regulations to stay. Previous generations have strived to put in place the legal tools to protect the natural environment but, despite this effort, wildlife continues to decline. This review should not result in any deregulation or weakening of the protection of important sites or species.

“We need to be the generation that puts nature back on the map. The Wildlife Trusts believe that in the Natural Environment White Paper the Government should establish a clear statement of ambition for the recovery of the natural environment in England. This should include strengthening existing protection measures which form the baseline for what needs to be done.”

The Red Tape Challenge:
The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to voice their concerns, directly to the Cabinet Office website Members of the public can comment on whether regulations should be kept, scrapped or amended. The regulations relate either to the whole of the UK or England.

The site includes a general section on the Environment. Comments posted to-date in this section have been supportive of regulation. Within Environment, there is a sub-section on biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation. Every few weeks, there is also an additional themed consultation. Within three months of the consultation(s) closing, Government departments will set out which regulations will be repealed and by when. The whole process is due to last until April 2013.

Story by RSWT
More Information

Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on deregulation. The quote used in this release is taken from the PM’s speech on deregulation. You can watch the whole speech on the Cabinet Office website