Act for Nature: Call for new law to support recovery of nature and improve people’s wellbeing. | News | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Act for Nature: Call for new law to support recovery of nature and improve people’s wellbeing.

Friday 31st October

Act for Nature: Call for new law to support recovery of nature and improve people’s wellbeing.

The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are backing a challenge to all political parties to ‘Act for Nature’ by introducing new laws to restore nature and increase access to it. This is not only for the sake of the natural world but also in support of public health and wellbeing. The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB - which together have more than two million members who want to protect nature – are calling for cross-party agreement on the need for nature and press all parties to include legislation for nature and wellbeing in their manifestos ahead of the General Election in May.

The ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’ Green Paper – published on Wednesday – sets out compelling evidence showing how essential the natural world is to human health.  It offers an ambitious package of measures to turn around the decline in the natural environment and highlights how this in turn could solve broader social issues.

In the paper, the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB warn that the health of the UK economy, communities, education and personal wellbeing are inextricably linked to the health of the natural world and that quality of life will fall if society doesn’t take action for nature. 

The General Election means political parties are now painting their visions for a brighter future, providing an opportunity for people to ask politicians to recognise that nature is intrinsically at the heart of better places to live in towns and cities as well as across rural landscapes.  Ensuring nature thrives and plays a positive role in people’s lives means decisions must not be based on short-term expediency.

Levels of inactivity and obesity are escalating; poor mental health is having a significant impact on wellbeing; climate change is already affecting urban areas and the productivity of the countryside; many villages, towns and cities face growing risk of flooding; and the UK economy continues to use much of the natural world in an unsustainable way, which is likely to be a brake on progress and development in the future. This needs to change and a Nature and Wellbeing Act could help achieve this.

“It’s vital that people have access to nature and that natural spaces are managed for the benefit of people, wildlife and our shared environment. This needs to be reflected in law to provide this right to nature and safeguard the future of people and wildlife; the proposed Nature and Wellbeing Act would build on existing frameworks to achieve this within a generation.” - Erin McDaid, Head of Communications and Marketing, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

 The Green Paper shows the need for nature in every part of life:

• The most deprived communities are 10 times less likely to live in the greenest areas.

• Less than one in 10 children regularly play in wild places, compared to almost half, a generation ago.

• If every household in England were provided with good access to quality green space it could save an estimated £2.1 billion in health care costs.

 

A new Nature and Wellbeing Act should herald a wider long-term commitment by government to take consistent account of nature and the wider environment across all policy-making and legislation. Take action here.

 

- ENDS -

CONTACT:

Tarran Huntley, Communications and Marketing Officer
T:  0115 958 8242       E:  (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Erin McDaid, Head of Communications and Marketing
T:  0115 958 8242       E:  (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Old Ragged School, Brook Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EA 

 

 

Notes for Editors

1. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, manages 67 Nature Reserves throughout the county of Nottinghamshire. It advises local authorities, community groups and landowners on nature conservation issues, and makes a major input into decision-making on planning matters and other issues. For more information please see our website: http://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org

 

2. The Trust is part of a nation-wide network of local Trusts which work to protect wildlife in town and country - The Wildlife Trusts. The Wildlife Trusts now boast almost 800,000.

 

3. The Wildlife Trusts’ and RSPB’s call for a Nature and Wellbeing Act is supported by Butterfly Conservation, Campaign to Protect Rural England, John Muir Trust, People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

 

Background

RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts are calling for a Nature and Wellbeing Act that secures the recovery of nature in England in a generation by:

-       Improving the status of species and their habitats for the next generation

-       Placing the value of nature at the heart of decision-making, nationally and locally, and across all Government Departments

-       Ensuring that local action for nature is linked across the land delivering natural green spaces and natural systems, that are more resilient in the face of climate change

-       Better connecting people with nature, giving everyone access to natural green spaces and ensuring that our children have a greater understanding of our natural world and what it does for us.

 

At the end of July, The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB called on all the main political parties to value nature, secure its recovery and underpin improvements to people’s health, wellbeing and the economy by committing to a new Nature and Wellbeing Act.  In September, The Environmental Audit Committee commended this call for a Nature and Wellbeing Act in its recent Environmental Scorecard report.  (Recommendation 9, which you can see here). 

 

In May 2013, the publication of the State of Nature report published by a coalition of leading conservation and research organisations concluded that UK nature is in trouble.  Scientists working side-by-side from 25 wildlife organisations compiled a stock take of our native species – the first of its kind in the UK.  The State of Nature report reveals that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades.  More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. More here

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