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208,498 people back legal target for nature’s recovery - The Wildlife Trusts

A petition calling for a legal target to halt the decline of nature by 2030 has been handed in to Rt Hon George Eustice MP, the Environment Secretary, today.

From left to right: Lord Randall, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Professor Lord Krebs, Richard Benwell (LINK), Beccy Speight (RSPB), Baroness Parminter, Darren Moorcroft (Woodland Trust), Environment Minister George Eustice, Craig Bennett (The Wildlife Trusts).
From left to right: Lord Randall, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Professor Lord Krebs, Richard Benwell (LINK), Beccy Speight (RSPB), Baroness Parminter, Darren Moorcroft (Woodland Trust), Environment Minister George Eustice, Craig Bennett (The Wildlife Trusts).

The petition has been signed by over 208,000 people, and is backed by 70 organisations, and prominent wildlife campaigners including Chris Packham, Steve Backshall and Mya-Rose Craig (Birdgirl).

The campaign is backed by a cross-party group of politicians from across the Houses of Parliament. The hand-in was attended by Lord Randall (Conservative), Baroness Jones (Labour), Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrat) and Professor Lord Krebs (cross-bench), who have all signed an amendment to the law in support of a target to halt nature’s decline by 2030.

It calls for the target to be set in the Environment Bill, which is currently making its way through the House of Lords.

So far, the Government has included a target for species abundance for 2030, but campaigners say that this is weak, because it does not set the level of ambition – to halt the decline of nature by 2030. They say that it falls far short of the “net zero for nature” recently promised by Government in the Environment Secretary’s speech at Delamere Forest on 18th May.

Stanley Johnson has recorded a video in support of the campaign, released today.

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: "At his recent speech at Delamere Forest, the Secretary of State gave me a commitment that the Government would halt the decline of species by 2030 and begin a trajectory towards nature’s recovery. The Government’s published target falls short of that ambition, disappointing the more than 200,000 people who have called on the Government to introduce a clear legally-binding target to halt the decline of wildlife by 2030. Alongside new powers to unpick the legal protections for nature, this means we face a future defined by an increasing loss of nature. Why would we set a target that only slows the ongoing decline of nature? Nature has provided us so much over the last year – but it’s declining at a speed never previously seen. One in seven species in the UK are now threatened with extinction. Without real Government action to reverse this trend now, we risk losing some of our wildlife forever. We cannot afford to wait any longer - it’s time the Government matched its promises with real action.”

Posted on: 07 July 2021

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