Wildlife Trust responds to Michael Gove speech on the environment

© Jim Higham

Debbie Tann responds to speech by Environment Secretary, reaffirming commitment to tackling the climate crisis and “catastrophic loss of biodiversity".

In a speech at Kew Gardens, Gove said “The scale of action required may be daunting, but the need to act is imperative.

“There is a political need to act - because we cannot leave this planet to the next generation more polluted, more dangerous, denuded of its natural riches and increasingly inhospitable to all life. 

“There is an economic need to act - because unless we restore our natural capital then we will have depleted soils incapable of yielding harvests or sustaining livestock, we will have oceans with more plastic than fish, we will have dried up or contaminated water sources and we will have severe weather events endangering lives and livelihoods. 

And there is a moral need to act - because, as Margaret Thatcher reminded us, we do not have a freehold on this planet, it is not ours to dispose of as we wish, we are partners in the great chain of evolution with the rest of nature and endowed as we are with reason we therefore have the responsibility to steward and protect.”


Debbie Tann at Lobby

Responding to these words, Debbie Tann Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: 

“Whilst Michael Gove has pointed to the scale of global biodiversity loss, it’s vital that we recognise that this is also happening on our doorsteps.  Hampshire and the Island may look green and pleasant, but we are witnessing nature retreat, essential resources diminish and species disappear”.

“We are pleased that decision makers are waking up to the urgency of this issue and we have seen several local councils declare climate emergencies in recent months.  This rhetoric must now be matched by concerted and clear action.  Nationally, we must see the promised Environment Bill commit to building a Nature Recovery Network -  moving beyond protection of our remaining wild patches towards restoring habitats and returning missing wildlife. 

Locally we look forward to working with our politicians and partners to ensure that nature’s recovery is at the heart of plans to tackle the climate crisis and create a healthier more prosperous future for people across our counties”.