UK General Election 2017: why it matters for wildlife

Urban wildlife (credit: Paul Harris 2020/VISION) A healthy natural world is fundamental to our well-being and prosperity (photo: Paul Harris/2020Vision)

Responding to the results of the UK General Election 2017, The Wildlife Trusts’ Chief Executive Stephanie Hilborne said:

"With the General Election now over, the new Government will need to hit the ground running. Critical to future generations will be delivery of the ambition to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it. This was expressed in the Conservative Party manifesto.

One thing we must surely agree on is to have a positive and uniting vision for the future of our shared environment. We know that there is huge popular support for wildlife from people of all backgrounds.

Above all we need an ambitious Environment Act.

The impressive turnout of young voters demonstrates a need for policies that speak to future generations. But there is much to do to achieve this, not least as the UK departs from the European Union.

Most of our environmental laws, including those that protect the nation’s precious wildlife and wild places, are tied to our membership of the EU. So too are our fisheries and agriculture policies. We need to keep the EU environmental regulations by transferring them across in the Repeal Act. We need to design world-leading agricultural and fisheries policies.

Above all we need an ambitious Environment Act. This would commit this and future Governments to a set of ambitions for nature’s recovery and for improving our environment. It would provide the framework for all future environmental regulations and incentives.

And finally there is no excuse for delaying the designation of more Marine Conservation Zones. This was put on hold before the Election.

The Wildlife Trusts believe everyone deserves to live in a healthy wildlife-rich natural world.

You can help by getting in touch with your MP when they are in place and letting them know how much wildlife means to you."

The Wildlife Trusts believe that people are part of nature; everything we value ultimately comes from it and everything we do has an impact on it. We believe that each year, there should be more wildlife and more wild places, and people should become closer to nature. 

Watch some short post-election videos made by The Wildlife Trusts' President Tony Juniper:

See our statement on the Lobbying Act here

Footnote:

[1] 42% think that the UK should have stronger environmental protection; 38% think the current level is about right. Online survey for Friends of the Earth by YouGov of 1,578 adults (18+), 29-30 November 2016.

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