The Wildlife Trusts have been campaigning for many years for tougher wildlife laws and a more joined up approach to protecting the natural environment and following the Government’s publishing of a Draft Environment Bill before Christmas the charity is calling for help to convince all MPs that nature’s recovery must be a top priority.
Speaking about the draft Environment Bill Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “With all the toing and froing and acrimony about Brexit it is easy to forget that Parliament still has a job to do to agree new legislation. With Brexit looming, a strong new Environment Bill is essential. Whilst we welcome the draft Bill and can see that Defra has put a lot of work into it, it appears that other Government departments have severely weakened it.”
To help prevent the loss of existing protections, new laws need to be overseen by an independent nature watchdog which is at least as powerful as what we currently have in the European Union. An independent watchdog would mean that if the Government breaks the law, the watchdog could start legal proceedings to encourage them to fix the situation.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust feels that the draft Environment Bill and the accompanying policy note do not go far enough to tackle the serious environmental challenges we face or provide cast iron legal certainty for the future of our natural world.
The documents fall short in many areas but two key concerns are that the proposed 'green watchdog' is far too weak and the failure to include any reference to Nature Recovery Networks.
Mr McDaid continued: