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Friday 9 December 2022

Surrey Wildlife Trust is urging MPs to "demand that the Government ups its game on protecting wildlife" as a crucial international summit takes place this week.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity, also known as COP15, started in Canada on Wednesday. 

What happens over the next ten days will directly affect wildlife everywhere, as countries will aim to agree on targets to ensure the survival of species and stem the collapse of ecosystems across the world.

But SWT Chief Executive Jane Chimbwandira says that the UK could have little influence if it doesn’t start ‘walking the walk’ on environmental standards at home. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world: in Surrey almost 50 per cent of species are under threat from intensive farming, river pollution, poorly-planned development, and droughts and wildfires exacerbated by a warming climate.

New data suggests that global wildlife populations have plummeted by almost 70 per cent in the last 50 years, and in the UK government proposals to weaken existing protection for wildlife threaten to make a bad situation worse. This could mean red faces on the world stage at COP15 and diminish the UK’s power to negotiate stronger global targets.

SWT says the government’s Retained EU Law Bill, currently before Parliament, threatens to remove a range of vital wildlife protections, and the targets ministers propose to set for nature’s recovery are not ambitious enough.

Surrey Wildlife Trust CEO Jane Chimbwandira said:

“Wherever you look, it’s easy to see that nature is in crisis. From finches and frogs to hedgehogs and dormice, even formerly commonplace species are now becoming frighteningly scarce. Bold action is needed to tackle the twin nature and climate crises at COP15, and the next eight years must deliver dramatic improvements if the UK is to stand any chance of meeting its target of protecting 30% of land and sea by 2030. 

“But under current policies we’ll have even less wildlife in 20 years’ time than we have now.  I know that many of our local representatives care deeply about our precious natural resources, so we’re asking them to push for a truly world-leading target that will leave the next generation with more nature – not less.”

Surrey Wildlife Trust wants the UK Government to:

  • Set ambitious targets to restore the abundance of nature at home. The Government is due to publish its Environment Act targets – but proposals currently on the table will mean even less wildlife in 20 years’ time than there is now. We want to see a target to increase species abundance by at least 20% by 2042, compared to 2022 levels.
  • Help set ambitious global targets to halt and reverse catastrophic declines in habitat and wildlife by 2030 at COP15.
  • Scrap the Retained EU Law Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, because it threatens the laws which protect wild places and species against pollution, development and disturbance across the UK.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 11:57 am  

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