Fears for wildlife as Boris Johnson accused of reneging on political promises | Green Politics

Nature is facing a ‘perfect storm of threats’, campaigners say, after eight wildlife bills promised by boris johnson since they came to power until now they have not seen the light of day.

The government has been accused of reneging on commitments by failing to implement policies on nature-friendly agriculture, the use of peat and pesticides, the reintroduction of beavers and other lost species, and the protection of rare marine life.

It is feared that the ambition to improve England’s biodiversity has been lost after the authority of the prime minister. got weak and you have to listen to the right wing of the Conservative Party, which views green measures as too expensive.

Johnson’s headline ambition in his speech to the conservative conference last year was to “rebuild the beaver”, promising that they would soon be released into the English countryside, but the government has not yet granted permission to release the rodents. Conservationists hoped to receive the green light in early summer this year.

Craig Bennett, CEO of the Wildlife Trusts, said: β€œWe are still awaiting approval to release beavers. It is one of the many examples of laws that were promised to us, but were not fulfilled.”

Other promised bills that have not appeared include a ban on the use of horticultural peat, which has been consulted but no law has been introduced. This would help stop the destruction of England’s peatlands, which are one of the country’s most important carbon stores.

The government also promised last year to form a species reintroduction working group, which would look at how to bring back animals that are extinct or nearly extinct in England. Although Applications for the chairman of the working group that closes in February there have been no further announcements.

Regarding reconstruction, the government has not legislated on the recommendations of the landscape review, such as changing the legal purpose to ensure that the central function of protected landscapes is to promote the recovery of nature.

There have also been fears that the government has rowed back in the pesticides after promises to include an integrated pest management scheme in new farm subsidies fell through. The ministers have also failed to publish, as promised, a national action plan on the sustainable use of pesticides.

Dr Lissa Batey, head of marine conservation at the Wildlife Trusts, said: β€œWe are seeing a perfect storm of threats to nature from all sides caused by government inaction, delay and failure to deliver on commitments.

β€œThe government cannot continue to stall and jeopardize its goals to halt nature’s decline by 2030, reduce carbon emissions and ultimately address the biggest threats we face of biodiversity loss and climate change. This is urgent: we live in one of the countries with the greatest shortage of nature in the world and we must take action, quickly, for the good of all.”

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Green MP Caroline Lucas said: β€œTime and time again, Boris Johnson has promised the land when in fact he is destroying it. Our natural environment is in a dire state and in desperate need of restoration, yet every promised policy, from peat and pesticides to bycatch and beavers, is blatantly discarded.

“By allowing right-wing climate skeptics in the Conservative backbenches to hold him hostage, the PM is putting his own future above the thriving natural environment.”

The government denied that it was not complying with promised wildlife laws. A spokesperson said: “This is categorically untrue and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the ambitious policies we are putting in place to protect and restore our natural environment.”

The spokesperson said many of the policies would be delivered in the next few years, but did not specify when.

The Eight Delayed Wildlife Bills

  1. Post-Brexit agricultural reforms – The government has broken his promise to reform agriculture after Brexit. In its National Food Strategy for England, published earlier this month, the government’s commitment to provide a third of its farm budget for landscape restoration has been abandoned.

  2. Ban on the use of horticultural peat – The government has consulted on the ban on the sale of peat and peat-containing products in England and Wales following failure to meet voluntary targets. More than 12 weeks have passed (the usual time to respond) and the government has still not responded to the query. There was also no clear legislative vehicle in the Queen’s recent speech to enact the ban.

  3. beaver reintroductions – Last year, the government consulted on new reintroductions of beavers in England after the successful River Otter Beaver Trial. The government has yet to publish its response to the consultation or announce its approach to beaver reintroduction in England. This was part of the Secretary of State’s statement. ad at Delamere Forest in May 2021.

  4. Species reintroduction task force – Also part of that announcement was a commitment to establish an England Species Reintroduction Task Force to consider the reintroduction of lost species, such as bobcats, as well as the release of declining species, such as curlews, into areas where have been lost to help populations. retrieve.

  5. National action plan on the sustainable use of pesticides – UK government consulted on the draft national action plan in December 2020, but has yet to publish the final version of its plan to replace the 2013 version.

  6. scenery revision – Although answering For the landscapes review, the government has yet to legislate the recommendations it has accepted, such as changing the statutory purpose to ensure that the main function of protected landscapes is to drive the recovery of nature in England.

  7. Integrated parasite management – The government has yet to confirm whether key components of the new farming system, such as integrated pest management, will be included in the new sustainable farming incentive from next year.

  8. bycatch mitigation initiative – A policy to protect rare marine life from being unintentionally caught by fishermen was passed in March, but has not come to fruition, later than expected in May.

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