Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about the protection of uplands.
I support investment in the restoration of a variety of habitats. The Government has said uplands are precious, but I am concerned it is not doing enough to protect native species and that it lacks a serious plan to deliver a recovery for nature.
Protecting biodiversity, halting the decline of nature and restoring habitats and wildlife should be priorities as the keys to tackling the climate emergency.
I believe we need ambitious biodiversity targets. The Government introduced in the now Environment Act a requirement for its species abundance target to halt the decline of nature in England by 2030.
However, I think it should have acted urgently to set this ahead of COP26 to meet the significant challenge of the nature emergency. I recognise this target will not be easily reached but believe we must also work to also reverse the decline in nature with a dramatic incline in species abundance.
I am concerned about the continued persecution of birds. Species conservation plays a vital role in restoring biodiversity and enabling nature’s recovery and I believe the Government is lacking a strategic approach to conservation through the protection, restoration and creation of habitats over a wide area to meet the needs of individual species under protection.
I also believe we need ambition on reforesting and rewilding. I supported an Opposition amendment to the Environment Bill for a bold, ambitious tree planting strategy in England, as we need more trees and better protections to restore our most vulnerable habitats. However, the Government voted this down.
More widely, I believe there is an urgent need for a coherent response to the climate and ecological emergency. Worldwide, unusual weather events show dystopia is here today. The collective ambition to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels must be translated into concrete action with an unequivocal promise to deliver. I am concerned the Government lacks sufficient action to meet this ambition.