Getting a vote for nature
Nature is not a ‘nice to have’. It is essential to a healthy society and economy – from the pollinators that help produce our food, to the wetlands that filter pollution in our rivers and the natural spaces near our homes that boost our health and wellbeing.
But the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Much of the green and blue space that we do have is in a poor condition and wildlife is being pushed to the brink.
Earth Trust has joined over 70 nature, health, planning and equality organisations and nature experts including Steve Backshall, Chris Packham and Megan Mcubbin, to create the Nature 2030 campaign, calling on all political parties to commit to the ambitious action needed to reverse the decline of nature by 2030.
We have five big asks of politicians:
1. To give farming for nature a pay rise
2. Make polluters pay
3. Create more space for nature
4.Create more green jobs
5. Put a right to a healthy environment in law.
Together these would go a long way to help reverse nature’s decline, improve public health and tackle climate change.
Jayne Manley, CEO of Earth Trust comments: “People depend on access to a healthy environment. Wildlife and working ecosystems are a fundamental right. It’s our goal to give everyone the opportunity to experience the natural world – wherever they are, whoever they are, and whatever their background.
Its appalling that 1 in 3 of us don’t have access to good quality green space within 15 minutes of home. And it’s more likely that those who need it most – people from marginalised and disadvantaged communities – are excluded from a healthy, clean environment.
I know that this is a matter close to the hearts of the Earth Trust community – The decision to put this right is in our hands.”
The Nature 2030 campaign is asking for the following changes from our next government
Farmland covers 70% of land in England and the single biggest cause of nature loss in the UK. But it is possible to find harmony between farming and nature. We’re asking the government to give nature a pay rise. To double the budget for farmers and land managers and support the switch to nature-friendly farming and forestry techniques, to move away from relying on intensive practices and harmful chemicals, and giving nature space to grow across our farmed landscapes.
The most harmful and polluting private sectors such as energy, retail and finance are contributing to nature’s decline – and so they should contribute to nature’s recovery. We are asking for the Government to make it harder for big businesses to damage our natural world by making sure they plan for nature and pay their fair share when they damage it.
The Government has promised to protect 30% of our land and seas for nature by 2030, but progress has been far too slow and too many of our treasured nature sites are damaged and in decline. We need more space for nature, with more protected areas that are better managed for nature. We also need nature’s recovery at the centre of the priorities for National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other protected sites.
Achieving these goals isn’t going to be easy and will need many more boots on the ground to achieve. Yet we have a nationwide green skills shortage. We want to see the Government fund a “National Nature Service” targeted at young people and marginalised communities to receive paid work and training to grow the pool of people with nature restoration skills. Transforming nature and the career prospects of thousands at the same time.
Establishing an enforceable human right to clean air and water and access to nature will help hold our Government to their promises. In turn, this will improve health outcomes for millions, particularly within disadvantaged communities who experience the most harmful levels of pollution and least access to healthy nature spaces, and ultimately save billions for the NHS and social care.
This is our chance to make a difference.
Whatever political party you will be voting for, let’s make sure that nature and access to green space for everyone is high on the agenda of the next govermment.
Lets work together for the good of the planet and the health and mental wellbeing of our communities. Will you join us?