On Wednesday 14th November, over 60 MPs met with young people from across The Wildlife Trusts at a Parliamentary Reception at Portcullis House. Young people spoke about their views on the natural environment, including why we need to safeguard nature for the future.
Young voices for the environment in Westminster
Caroline Lucas MP gave an introductory speech, emphasising the need for young people to connect with nature through education and opportunities to work in the sector.
The event highlighted the urgent need for an ambitious Environment Bill to ensure nature’s recovery. Such legislation would not only establish new environmental targets and introduce a strong green watchdog but would also drive the creation of Nature Recovery Networks. These would better protect and connect important places for wildlife and ensure everyone, whatever their background, has access to wildlife-rich natural green space.
Jake McAllister, a Living Landscapes trainee from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, who attended the event said:
"I'm here in Portcullis House because I feel we do need an ambitious Environment Act. I'm here to talk to MPs and tell them that the reason why we need an Environment Act is because the state of nature is in decline and we need to reverse that.
We need to get a really powerful watchdog to appeal to justice if the environment is treated unfairly. Coming from a Living Landscapes background, I'm looking for a network to support nature's recovery."
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trusts said:
“Young people are a vital part of our movement and increasingly active in calling for change. They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience nature during their school lives and should have opportunities to work in environmental jobs. They also want to guarantee a more positive future for our natural environment.
“The quality of life for future generations will depend on securing an ambitious new Environment Bill. This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to build a wilder, healthier and happier future – putting nature into recovery and ensuring everyone has access to wildlife.”