Cley and Salthouse Marshes, a nature reserve facing the impacts of Climate Change (Richard Osbourne) 1/2
NWT will be watching for improvements to the Bill - photo of Short eared owl credit Elizabeth Dack 2/2

Government’s landmark Environment Bill finally returns to Parliament


Friday 31 January, 2020


The Environment Bill is an important first step towards nature’s recovery, but several crucial improvements are needed to save wildlife, says Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

With one in seven species in the UK now at risk of extinction and 58% of species in decline [1] NWT, along with the other 45 Wildlife Trusts in the UK, has long called for ambitious new laws to allow nature to recover. Ensuring a healthy natural environment is vital to reversing the massive loss of nature as well as combating climate change and achieving net zero carbon emissions.

This Bill, the first of its kind for more than 20 years, will establish a new structure for managing the environment and will aim to strengthen environmental protections to reverse nature’s decline.

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said:
“We are in the midst of a global biodiversity and climate crisis. This Bill is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a legal framework to guarantee clean air and water, healthy soils and ecosystems, abundant wildlife and a thriving marine environment.  

“We have long understood that small and isolated nature reserves are not enough, especially in the context of a changing climate, and we have undertaken ambitious expansion of our reserves with large-scale habitat restoration and creation across Norfolk. We are increasingly working with land owners and local communities to support their aspirations for wildlife on their land and make connections for wildlife across the landscape. We know that it is possible to make a difference for wildlife by taking evidence-based conservation action. The Trust has a very clear mission to ‘save Norfolk’s wildlife for the future’ and this much needed Bill is a crucial step.”

Joan Edwards, Director of Public Affairs for The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“The natural world is becoming more fragmented and desperately needs reconnecting to create more space for wildlife to recover. We are really pleased that the Environment Bill recognises this by committing to create local nature recovery strategies to support a Nature Recovery Network. By identifying areas which show where action needs to be taken so that nature can recover, we can help provide enough space for wildlife and greatly increase nature’s capacity to tackle climate change.”

In a short film for The Wildlife Trusts, calling for powerful new environmental laws and for a Nature Recovery Network, Sir David Attenborough, president emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“A wildlife-rich natural world is vital for our wellbeing and survival. We need wild places to thrive. Yet many of our systems and laws have failed the natural world. We now live in one of the most nature depleted places on the planet. Nature urgently needs our help to recover – and it can be done. By joining up wild places and creating more across the UK we would improve our lives and help nature to flourish - because everything works better when it’s connected.”



As the Environment Bill makes its passage through Parliament, The Wildlife Trusts will be pressing for several improvements, including:
  • A commitment to non-regression of environmental law to prevent backsliding on environmental standards after Brexit;
  • A more robust target setting framework in which interim targets are legally binding and contribute progress towards the long-term environmental targets;
  • Greater financial independence and dissuasive and effective remedies for the new Office for Environmental Protection;
  • A duty of direct application in domestic law for environmental principles to maintain their strength;
  • A stronger duty to refer to Local Nature Recovery Strategies in making relevant decisions, such as where to create new habitat under the net gain system, to ensure they are truly effective.

References:
[1] State of Nature 2019 Report

 
Share this

Top news stories

2020-02-11 HS2 decision will destroy prec HS2 decision will destroy precious wild places
Tuesday 11 February, 2020
Today the Government gave the green light to the High Speed 2 rail project, without acknowledging the devastating imp...
2020-02-03 NDR Western Link - Net Gain is NDR Western Link - Net Gain is not enough
Monday 03 February, 2020
The inclusion of Defra’s targets for ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ in Norfolk County Council’s prop...
2020-02-02 World Wetlands Day World Wetlands Day
Sunday 02 February, 2020
The preservation of Norfolk’s wetlands depends on active, ongoing management, says Norfolk Wildlife Trust on Wo...
2020-01-31 Government’s landmark Environm Government’s landmark Environment Bill finally returns to Parliament
Friday 31 January, 2020
The Environment Bill is an important first step towards nature’s recovery, but several crucial improvements are...
2020-01-21 Power lines removed at South W Power lines removed at South Walsham Marshes
Tuesday 21 January, 2020
Removing overhead power lines and 24 poles that have been standing in South Walsham marshes since England won the Wor...
2020-01-18 Agriculture Bill returns with Agriculture Bill returns with positive focus for nature and climate
Saturday 18 January, 2020
The work of farmers and land managers is crucial in fighting the nature and climate emergency – by protecting s...
2020-01-15 Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife F Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair Returns for 2020
Wednesday 15 January, 2020
A nature and wildlife event which celebrates Norfolk as ‘the birdwatching capital of Britain’ is returnin...
2020-01-15 HS2 – new report reveals exorb HS2 – new report reveals exorbitant cost to nature
Wednesday 15 January, 2020
A new report published by The Wildlife Trusts today reveals, for the first time, the vast scale of the destruction an...
2019-12-31 Wildlife charity signs its sup Wildlife charity signs its support for Council’s balloon charter
Tuesday 31 December, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has signed Norfolk County Council’s Sky Lantern and Balloon Release Charter, which urges...
2019-12-16 Car park charges intended at C Car park charges intended at Cley Marshes
Monday 16 December, 2019
Car park charges for some visitors are intended to be introduced at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley and Salthouse...
2019-11-22 Friday openings celebrate Wint Friday openings celebrate Winter Wildlife Spectacle
Friday 22 November, 2019
The refurbished visitor centre at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Hickling Broad and Marshes National Nature Reserve w...
2019-11-18 New report shows how nature nu New report shows how nature nurtures children
Monday 18 November, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust calls for every child to have a daily one-hour nature boost The Wildlife Trusts commissioned ...