Staffordshire Wildlife Trust calls for more ambitious Government Environmental Improvement Plan


The Government has today, 31st January 2023, published its Environmental Improvement Plan, the first revision of its 25 Year Environmental Plan (25YEP) set out five years ago.

The Government stated: “The Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 for England is our first revision of the 25YEP. It builds on the 25YEP vision with a new plan setting out how we will work with landowners, communities and businesses to deliver each of our goals for improving the environment, matched with interim targets to measure progress. Taking these actions will help us restore nature, reduce environmental pollution, and increase the prosperity of our country.”

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and The Wildlife Trusts have responded, calling for a more ambitious environmental improvement plan with the financial resources to affect beneficial change for wildlife.

The North Staffordshire countryside.
North Staffordshire Countryside. Photo: Jerome Whittingham.

Liz Peck, Advocacy and Campaigns Manager at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We need the government to prioritise its environmental commitments in the Environment Act 2021, including the actions and policies necessary to deliver nature’s recovery by 2030.”

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said: “The Government promised voters ‘the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth’ in their 2019 manifesto, but unprecedented nature declines are worsening, and there’s a big mountain to climb to address the climate emergency. So a plan that matches the Government’s earlier ambition is desperately needed.

“This plan must ensure the whole of Government is acting to halt the chronic loss of nature and tackle this existential threat to our prosperity, our ability to produce food, and to have enough clean water. Yet only very recently, the Office for Environmental Protection warned that the Government was not on track to meet any of its environmental targets set out in its initial 25 Year Environment Plan.

“A dramatic increase in funding is needed if the UK is to reach its target to protect 30 per cent of our land and sea for nature by 2030. Progress towards this target is painfully slow because Government funding for biodiversity is more than 10 per cent lower than it was a decade ago, yet we know that £1.2billion extra each year is needed to restore nature.

“The Government appears to be hoping that the agricultural budget will help to restore the nature we’ve lost, but if the Environmental Land Management schemes lack the required ambition, they will have to make up the shortfall from elsewhere.

“Government must scale up funding to match the ambition and stop hoping that existing budgets will do the job.”

Website: EIP 2023 – Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Website: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

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