The government will not meet its commitments to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 if it cancels new payments to stimulate wildlife-friendly agriculture in Englandsaid the head of the Nature Watch.
Tony Juniper, President of Natural England, told Environment Minister Ranil Jayawardena in a letter this week that if the government does not keep its commitment to move from farm payments in the region to “public funds for public goods” — rewarding farmers for working to regenerate soils, prevent floods and restore pollinators. She won’t meet her needs A legally binding target to halt biodiversity decline by 2030.
When members of the public were asked about the government’s “attack on nature” at an event celebrating 70 years of national nature reserves, Juniper said he believed the government could fulfill “not only its ambitions for economic growth but to restore nature,” but it shouldn’t. . View the environment as an obstacle to growth.
The Truss administration has signaled its desire to shred the environmental changes instigated by the Conservative governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Controversial growth plan Refer to review Financial support for farms In England, aspirations to abolish European environmental protection and create investment areas With minimal planning rules.
Environmental charities have launched a major campaign against this.”Attack on nature“.
at the event in Holkham National Nature ReserveJuniper said the government this week reiterated its commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2030.
“If we don’t maintain our commitment to shift away from area-based agricultural subsidies, we probably won’t be able to meet our 2030 goals, I told the environment minister,” Juniper said. “We look forward to sticking with these goals and finding ways in which the government’s ambitions can be met – not just for economic growth but for nature restoration.”
On the government’s desire to repeal EU environmental laws, such as the Habitats Directive, which have been enshrined in British law since Brexit, Juniper said: “Any legal changes introduced must not diminish the protection we have and must either be maintained or strengthened.” The protection we have.
In terms of investment areas, Juniper said, “We will advise the government that there is an opportunity here to improve nature. Instead of saying, ‘Build a lot of homes and look at the environment afterwards,’ we can look at the whole landscape and plan where we need more housing capacity. And infrastructure and where we’ll put new forests and prairies and sustainable agriculture.If we have ecologists, planners, and developers sitting together from day one, we can get better results for everyone.
“If we do these investment zones the right way, we could end up with more wildlife, not less, but we need to get away from the mindset that environmental legislation hampers economic growth. It’s not true.”
Some Conservative politicians want to break up Natural England, and early in the summer A proposal appeared to accommodate it in the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural AffairsBut England’s natural sources – not Juniper – believe the current administration lacks parliamentary time to take such a step.
A government spokesperson said: “Claims we intend to back down from our commitment to the environment are simply not true. We are committed to halting the degradation of nature by 2030 and will not undermine our commitment to the environment in pursuit of growth.
A strong environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. We have passed legislation through the Environmental Act and will continue to improve our regulations and wildlife laws in line with our ambitious vision.
We want every corner of our country to thrive, too. The bureaucratic processes in the planning system don’t necessarily protect the environment, so, by making sure we have the proper regulations in place for our nation, we can make that happen.”