Conservation matters? “No net loss”?

140920 Sykehouse late Scabious hrk 567

Grey and grizzly might have been an apt description for today’s weather but not to be deterred I went to check out the aftermath of some local haymeadows.  The pastoral landscape of the Humberhead Levels, in quiet secluded corners is like stepping back into the past.  There are fragments, which because of the their inaccessibility to large machinery or their physical station amidst river courses and highways make their survival more likely.  With the realisation of the decline in natural grasslands and haymeadows the last few have been acquired by conservation charities and are managed in keeping with the traditions which created them.

140920 SM Scabious hrk 569 - Copy

Despite the damp there were hoverflies and bees making the most of late nectar on offer.  Knautia arvensis (above) is a plant of grasslands and meadows and a tail end charlie in terms of summer flowers.  Interestingly where the reaper had left uncut there were a number of white speciemns and a single pink bloom.

 

CONSERVATION MATTERS …. ?

EU consultation on biodiversity: ‘No net loss’.

The European Commission have published an online consultation seeking the public’s view on a future EU initiative (known as ‘No net loss’) to halt biodiversity loss.  Although the EU and its member states  already  have various conservation measures already in place, such as the designation of protected Natura 2000 areas, almost 25% of European animal species are thought to be at risk of extinction.

Can we encourage readers to submit their views on the consultation here,  biodiversity and a healthy environment are not an option but a necessity?

 

Belatedly to draw to readers attention the ‘red carding’ of the “greenest government ever” .  The Environmental Audit Committee recently published its findings Environmental Scorecard, and whilst one might be tempted to describe them as damming they will hardly come as a surprise to anyone active in conservation campaigning?

Members of the committee (16)

Joan Walley MP  Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North) (Chair)    Peter Aldous MP  (Conservative, Waveney)    Neil Carmichael MP  (Conservative, Stroud)    Martin Caton MP  (Labour, Gower)

Katy Clark MP  (Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran)    Zac Goldsmith MP  (Conservative, Richmond Park)    Mike Kane MP  (Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East)    Mark Lazarowicz MP  (Labour/Co-operative, Edinburgh North and Leith)

Caroline Lucas MP  (Green, Brighton Pavilion)    Caroline Nokes MP  (Conservative, Romsey and Southampton North)    Dr Matthew Offord MP  (Conservative, Hendon)    Dan Rogerson MP  Liberal Democrat, North Cornwall) [ex-officio]

Mr Mark Spencer MP  (Conservative, Sherwood)    Rt Hon Mrs Caroline Spelman MP  (Conservative, Meriden)    Dr Alan Whitehead MP  (Labour, Southampton, Test)    Simon Wright MP  (Liberal Democrat, Norwich South)

 

Emissions and climate change  AMBER

Air pollution  RED

Biodiversity  RED

Forests  AMBER

Soils  AMBER

Flooding and coastal protection  RED

Resource efficiency and waste  AMBER

Freshwater environment  AMBER

Water availability  AMBER

Marine environment  AMBER

Its recommendations were that:

The Government should set up an independent body—an ‘office for environmental responsibility’—to (i) review the Environment Strategy we advocate; (ii) advise Government on appropriate targets; (iii) advise Government on policies, both those in Government programmes and new ones that could be brought forward to support the environment; (iv) advise Government about the adequacy of the resources (in both central and local government) made available for delivering the Strategy; and (v) monitor and publish performance against the Strategy and its targets.

Whilst these are to be applauded, we would wish to secure reasurance that the ‘independent body’ must be just that otherwise Government credibility is again, even more damaged?  Any ‘independent body’ needs to be drawn, not from the usual suspects or party patronage, but from candidates with a proven track record and the confidence of rank and file activists.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE.

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