The Independent reports a national push by the government and numerous wildlife and environment organisations to restore the natural world across England has been launched, aiming to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and people’s isolation from the natural world. But it comes as some of the same environment groups supporting the initiative have warned that public funding for green recovery projects is already 10 times oversubscribed.
INEWS reports the Government must funnel more funding into nature schemes if it wants to save thousands of jobs in the sector and keep key green targets within reach. That is the message from the UK’s leading environmental charities, including the National Trust, Woodland Trust, Wildlife and Countryside Link and The Wildlife Trusts. They were among the green groups to pen a letter to the Chancellor, calling for Rishi Sunak to plough more cash into the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
The Guardian reports companies that market their products or services as eco-friendly are to be scrutinised by the UK competition watchdog to make sure they live up to the claim and do not mislead consumers. The CMA said examples of misleading behaviour by firms could include exaggerating the positive environmental impact of a product or service, but also using packaging or logos that implied an item was eco-friendly when it was not. The practice is also known as “greenwashing”.
edie reports the UK Government must “urgently” help large businesses to value the natural resources in their value chains and to promote conservation and restoration at scale, the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has concluded. The Committee, which was founded in 2012 and works as an independent advisor to Defra, has published its ‘end of term report’.
The Guardian reports the UK is failing on its long-term biodiversity targets and seeing “relentless” declines in wildlife, according to government data that shows public sector investment in conservation falling in real terms by 33% in five years. Out of 24 indicators of ecological health, 14 show long-term decline.
The Telegraph reports conservation groups have argued that although 26 per cent of England is technically ‘protected for nature’, these areas are not sufficiently biodiverse and actually contain less trees and nature than some of our cities. The five-year plan for Natural England promises to make our national parks “richer in wildlife”, and sources at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have suggested this includes radically changing the landscape of our most iconic national parks.
The Telegraph reports the Prime Minister last week promised that Britain had “limitless” offshore wind capacity, and said a green industrial revolution with this renewable resource at its heart would create millions of jobs and avert climate change. However, conservationists have warned that an enthusiastic rolling out of offshore wind could cause our globally important seabird populations to dwindle to extinction.
The BBC reports an extra 400,000 hectares of English countryside will be protected to support the recovery of nature under plans to be announced by Boris Johnson.
The prime minister will make the commitment at a virtual United Nations event later. He is joining a global pledge from 65 leaders to reverse losses in the natural world by the same date.
National parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and other protected areas make up 26% of land in England. Mr Johnson will promise that the government will increase the amount of protected land in the UK from 26% at present to 30% by 2030.
The South Downs from Ditchling Beacon photo by hehaden under creative commons. The South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park, designated in 2010, and, of course, within only thirty minutes drive of Normandy village.
The Guardian reports the campaign group Wild Justice has accused ministers of breaching their legal duties to protect sites of high conservation value in England by failing to control the use of large areas of countryside to shoot pheasant and red-legged partridge for sport. Their judicial review will be heard in the high court in November, as complaints mount about the exemptions given by ministers to the shooting industry to continue field sports during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph reports the willow tit is the fastest-declining resident bird in the country, and one of the lowest in number, and the numbers have been in sharp freefall because their preferred habitat, shrubland, has been destroyed because of an obsession with neatness…. Government quango Natural England is also planning to compel local authorities to create more ‘untidy’ habitats for creatures including the Willow tit.
Willow tit photo by yrjö jyske under creative commons.