HomeScienceEnvironmentConservation groups brand mini-budget an ‘attack on nature’ | Wildlife

Conservation groups brand mini-budget an ‘attack on nature’ | Wildlife

The government has been accused of launching an “attack on nature” with its mini budgetthat conservationists warn can reverse environmental regulations.

Groups including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust have criticized plans announced Friday to create 38 “investment zones” across England.

The announcement of the new territories by the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwartengwhere planning rules will be relaxed to free up more land for commercial use and housing, act as a “carte blanche” for development, warn leading conservation charities, and represent an “unprecedented attack on nature”.

“Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has launched an attack on nature today,” says de RSPB tweeted. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife faces one of the greatest threats it has faced in decades.”

Referring to a new bill presented to parliament on Thursday that could lead to the removal of EU environmental protections such as the Habitats Regulations, the charity added: “What the government has proposed in today’s mini-budget on top of yesterday’s announcements, cracks could potentially provide the most basic legal protections our remaining wildlife has.”

Beccy Speight, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Nature is already in trouble. All things considered, these announcements, coupled with rumors that the new agricultural land management schemes are being watered down, could be the final nail in the game. coffin.”

She added: “Our economy and our health depend on a thriving natural world.”

In a forcefully worded tweet in support of the RSPB, the wild animals Trusts said: “Make no mistake – we are also incredibly angry.

“We stand behind RSPB England and evoke the unprecedented attack on nature launched by the UK government in recent days. We are going to fight this together and ask our supporters to stand behind us.”

Craig Bennett, the trust’s chief executive, said environmental groups had previously been reassured about wildlife protections lost to Brexit, but now wildlife is in “catastrophe”.

“The agrarian reform would be the silver lining, but now the government seems to be abandoning that as well,” he said, adding: “We need more nature.”

The National Trust shared the RSPB’s tweet and pledged to work with other charities and supporters to “defend important conservations for wildlife well into the future”.

Labor also joined criticism of the planned investment zones, calling it “reckless”.

Shadow Leveling Secretary Lisa Nandy said: “Lowering standards, destroying the environment and demolishing affordable housing is reckless and offers no prospect of sustainable growth. For most people, that is leveling down , not up.

“This country needs a serious plan to get jobs and investment in every country and region, money back in the people’s pockets and locally driven growth, no more Amazon warehouses and deregulation.”

The Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) rejected the claims, tweeting: “We have a plan for economic growth. It is not true to claim that we are attacking nature and not going back on our obligations.

“We have legislated through the Environmental Act and will continue to improve our regulations and natural laws in line with our ambitious vision.”

A spokesperson for Defra added: “Farmers are brilliant at producing high quality food for home consumption and export and now we need them to move forward as productivity gains have been flat for many years.

“To boost the rural economy, food production and our food security, we will continue to support farmers and land managers by reviewing agricultural regulations and boosting investment and innovation in the sector.

“This autumn we will set out our plans to work with industry to maximize the long-term productivity, resilience, competitiveness and environmental stewardship of rural Britain.”

A Treasury Department spokesman claimed that investment zones “will empower locally elected leaders to set bold new visions for their area, and we want to make sure they have all the tools at their disposal to drive local growth.”

They added: “The government remains committed to setting a new legally binding target to halt the decline of biodiversity in England by 2030.

“We are working closely with areas to develop tailor-made proposals that support their ambitions and benefit local residents.”

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