Wildlife fears as Boris Johnson accused of failing to deliver on his political pledges | green policy

Activists say nature is facing a “perfect storm of threats” after promising eight wildlife bills Boris Johnson Since coming to power until now they have failed to see the light of day.

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

There are fears that ambition to boost biodiversity in England will be lost after the prime minister’s authority weakened And he has to listen to the right wing of the Conservative Party Green views measures Expensive.

Ambitious Johnson’s headline in his country Speech at the Conservative Conference last year The beaver was to be “reconstructed”, and he promised to release them soon into the English countryside, but the government has not yet given permission to release the rodents. Conservationists had expected to have the green light by early summer this year.

Craig Bennett, CEO of wild animals “We are still waiting for approval to release beavers,” the Trusts said. “It’s one of many examples of laws we promised, but didn’t implement.”

Other promised bills that did not appear include a ban on the use of peat in horticulture, which has been referenced but no legislation has been brought forward. This will 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 Genres Re-Introduction Task Force, which would look at how to bring back extinct or near-extinct animals in England. despite of Applications The Task Force Chair wraps up in February and there were no further announcements.

In terms of rebuilding, the government has not passed legislation on the recommendations in the landscape review, such as amending the legal purpose to ensure that the primary function of protected landscapes is to advance nature restoration.

There were also concerns that the government has You row again on pesticides Yet promises of an integrated pest management plan for inclusion in new agricultural subsidies have not come to fruition. Nor did the ministers publish, as they promised, a national action plan on the sustainable use of pesticides.

Dr Lisa Batty, Head of Marine Conservation at Wildlife Trusts, said: “We are seeing a perfect storm of threats to nature from every side due to government inaction, delays and backsliding on commitments.

“Government cannot continue to procrastinate and jeopardize its goals to halt the degradation of nature 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 nature’s most depleted countries. in the world and we must take swift action for the sake of all of us.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised the earth when in fact he is destroying it. Our natural environment is in dire straits and in desperate need of restoration, yet every policy I have undertaken is being scrapped – from peat And pesticides to bycatch and beavers — unabashedly.

“By allowing himself to be held hostage by the right-wing climate skeptics in the back benches of the Conservative Party, the prime minister is placing his own future above that of the thriving natural environment.”

The government has denied failing to deliver on its promises of wildlife laws. “This is categorically incorrect and shows a complete lack of understanding of the ambitious policies we are putting in place to protect and restore our natural environment,” a company spokesperson said.

The spokesman said several policies would be delivered in the coming years but did not specify when.

Eight overdue wildlife bills

  1. Agrarian reforms after Brexit – 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 save a third of its agricultural budget for landscape restoration was abandoned.

  2. Prohibition of the use of horticultural peat – The government has consult on a ban on the sale of peat and peat-containing products in England and Wales after the failure of voluntary targets. It has been more than 12 weeks (the usual time limit for a response) and the government has yet to respond to the consultation. Nor was there a clear legislative instrument in the Queen’s recent speech to enact the ban.

  3. re-introductions beaver The government last year consult On reintroducing beavers in England after success The trial of a river beaver otter. The government has yet to publish its response to the advisory or announce its approach to reintroducing beavers in England. This was part of the Foreign Minister Advertising In the Delamere Forest in May 2021.

  4. Ocean Re task force Also part of this announcement was a commitment to create a Species Reintroduction Task Force in England to look into the reintroduction of lost species such as wild cats, as well as the release of degraded species such as curlews, in areas from which they were lost to help the population recover.

  5. National a job plan on sustainable Use Insecticides – UK government consult on the draft NAP in December 2020, but has not yet published the final version of its plan to replace the 2013 version.

  6. Natural views reconsidering – despite of respond To review the landscape, the government has not yet legislated for recommendations it accepted, such as amending the statutory purpose to ensure that the primary function of a protected landscape is to advance nature restoration in England.

  7. built in lesion Management – The government has not yet confirmed whether key components of the new agricultural system, such as integrated pest management, will be included in the new sustainable agriculture incentive from next year.

  8. patch mitigation Initiative – A policy to protect rare marine life from being unintentionally caught by fishermen was approved in March but has yet to come to fruition after it was forecast in May.