Strong new laws needed to protect nature

The Prime Minister recently announced an Environment Bill to provide backing for their 25 year environmental Plan

The Prime Minister recently announced an Environment Bill to provide backing for their 25 year environmental Plan. We’ve heard some encouraging language from government ministers over the past year about policies to reverse nature’s decline, but as we said previously, “without this legal certainty, the promise of the [environmental] plan could easily evaporate over time”.

So it’s good news to hear the government now commit to setting out a legal framework to underpin their vision. At this stage they haven’t set out details of what the bill might include, or when it will come into effect. However this is a real opportunity to not just safeguard the EU protections that we know have slowed nature’s decline, but go a step further to set ourselves out as world leaders in conservation.

With ambitious, strong and well-enforced laws, we could reach a tipping point for wildlife and put it back on the path to recovery.

Key to this is a new Nature Recovery Network, which will put nature at the heart of our lives.

Lower Test by Mark Heighes

Lower Test by Mark Heighes

Nature Recovery Networks

For many years we've known that nature reserves alone are not enough for wildlife's recovery. 

Instead we need to create connected spaces across our landscape - in our towns and cities, on farmland, and in natural places - to give wildlife a chance to recover

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By identifying where nature is, or needs to be, across our counties and across the country, as a society we’ll be better able to coordinate our efforts to protect and restore it.

This could be working with farmers to make their land more wildlife-friendly, creating wildflower corridors across our cities, or investing in land to join up isolated pockets of nature. This must also include creating a network of protected areas at sea, which the government just finished consulting on, on Friday.

A legislative backbone essential to ensuring that these environmental improvements will be delivered regardless of who is in power next year, in five years, and in twenty years. Nature needs stability beyond parliaments and generations to recover.

The first step will be securing our existing environmental protections and setting up a strong green watchdog to hold the government to account. The government is consulting on their proposals - which we believe could be strengthened - until 2 Aug. Find out more and respond here .

Now is the time for the government to turn its laudable ambitions into action with bold environmental laws to restore nature - both for wildlife itself and our future generations.

Act now