Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Protecting the Natural Environment

We know that our local MP, Lee Scott, does not sign Early Day Motions and why but we also know that he reads this blog – so here is the one in question, number 1601.

It has only been signed by 39 MPs, but that does include Andrew Rosindell.

That this House looks forward to the forthcoming publication of a Natural Environment White Paper; notes that this is the first White Paper of its kind in 20 years; recognises that biodiversity is in crisis, with 45 per cent. of important habitats and 29 per cent. of priority species declining or lost; calls on the Government to make a clear commitment through the White Paper to halt biodiversity loss, restore the UK's natural environment and connect people with nature; believes the White Paper must include key indicators to track annual progress toward measurable outcomes; further believes these indicators must cover the condition of common and threatened wildlife, the condition of important wildlife areas and levels of public engagement; and calls on other Government departments to share responsibility in committing to a strong and effective White Paper which helps the Government meet its commitment to be the greenest Government ever.
An Ilford North Consituent writes:

Dear Mr Lee Scott

Please do not allow Ministers to water down the NEWP. Many jobs, like mine, have been created through the environmental sector. There are new jobs coming up all the time in renewable energy, sustainable farming, planning and investment in nature. The environment not only needs to be good for wildlife, but it is essential that it is good for our health and wellbeing too.
Please would you sign the Early Day Motion 1601 because:
  • the NEWP can only be effective with ambitious targets - if you do the job once and do it properly, you don't need to waste time in the future and strengthen it and waste more government/public money;
  • we have not been successfully halting declines in biodiversity loss. I know, I work in this sector and this is due to weak government targets and policy, we need to sort this out by 2020 and see real results on the ground;
  • With 45% of important habitats and 29% of priority species declining or lost, it is time for the UK Government to make a clear commitment to halt biodiversity loss, restore our natural environment and connect people with nature.
Plants and animals benefit us all. Plants provide essential medication and animals are good indicators of how our environment is doing. If we take care of them, then we take care of ourselves.

Kind regards, etc.

The RSPB say:

However, there is a fear that senior ministers and civil servants in other government departments may seek to weaken any ambitious targets set out in the white paper when it is sent to them for approval in late spring. This is despite the fact that the NEWP could benefit many of those same departments.

Given the earlier post on the Dog’s Breakfast, I am not holding my breath…..

1 comment:

  1. Following the election last year I decided that I would not sign early day motions in Parliament. There were a number of reasons for this decision. First each EDM costs a minimum of £600.00 as it has to be printed and added to the Parliamentary web site. As each additional MP affixes their name it has to be republished at additional cost. The most important point is that an EDM has no practical effect as it does not lead to debate or to legislation. They are in fact an internal Parliamentary petition that has no practical purpose.

    It was in the early 1990s that the issue of biodiversity was last addressed by Government and so this makes the forthcoming Natural Environment White Paper very important. However, the real key is what gets incorporated into the legislation and what a UK Government can enforce. Ambitious targets are commendable if they can be delivered. All too often we have set targets on rain forests or African savannah over which we have little control. My view is that we need to concentrate on legislation that can have a meaningful impact here in Britain.