Parliamentarians messages of support
Well-known names supporting the State of Nature campaign:
Chris Packham CBE, Steve Backshall MBE, Stanley Johnson, Dr Mya-Rose Craig, George Monbiot, Feargal Sharkey, Peter Egan, Iolo Williams, Megan McCubbin, Dara McAnulty, David Lindo, Simon Barnes, Michael McCarthy, Mark Cocker, Stephen Moss, Peter Marren, Mary Colwell, Henny Beaumont, Mark Carwardine, Roy Dennis, Nicola Davies, Hugh Warwick, Helen Pilcher, Benedict Macdonald, Gill Lewis, Dr Helen Scales, Robert Macfarlane, Hannah Stitfall, Dr Amir Khan, Sophie Pavelle, Hilary Benn MP, Roger Gale MP, Barry Gardiner, Lillian Greenwood, Lord Krebs, Caroline Lucas MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Jessica Morden, Lord Lucas and the Earl of Caithness
Organisations supporting the State of Nature Campaign:
National Trust, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust, WWF, Greenpeace UK, Black2Nature, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), The Rivers Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, League Against Cruel Sports, SOS-UK, RSPCA, ARC Trust, the Mammal Society, Keep Britain Tidy, Campaign for National Parks, Flood Plain Meadows Partnership, the River Restoration Centre, People's Trust for Endangered Species, Black Environment Network, Surfers Against Sewage, Four Paws UK, Rewilding Britain, The Badger Trust, The British Mountaineering Council, Marine Conservation Society, Wild Justice, John Muir Trust, Forest Stewardship Council UK, Green Alliance, Wildlife Gardening Forum, Open Spaces Society, CPRE The Countryside Charity, Institute of Fisheries Management, A Rocha UK, Born Free Foundation, ORCA, ClientEarth, The Angling Trust, Ramblers GB, Bat Conservation Trust, The Zoological Society of London, WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust), Salmon & Trout Conservation, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Buglife, Plantlife, Earthwatch Europe, Humane Society International UK, Shark Trust, Freshwater Habitats Trust, Naturewatch Foundation, British Ecological Society, ALERC, CHEM Trust, UK Youth for Nature, Sustainable Food Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, The Aldersgate Group, Nature Friendly Farming Network, Blue Ventures, Save the Children, Beaver Trust, UK Green Building Council, Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife & Countryside Link
Nature CEOs explain why we need nature in law
Quotes of support for the State of Nature Campaign
Naturalist and explorer, Steve Backshall MBE, said: “Nature has become even more important to us all during the COVID crisis. Walks in parks and the countryside, hearing birdsong and the sound of the ocean have become a lifeline for our wellbeing. But we need to look after nature too.
“So many times we’ve heard politicians say they will protect our natural world and help it to recover, but time after time we’ve seen the destruction of nature continue. We need the Prime Minister to step up and put his promises to protect nature into law to guarantee that this time it is different, that this time we will turn the tide for wildlife by 2030 at the latest.”
Hilary Benn MP, says: “If we’re to see our wildlife, our waters, our countryside and our soils return to health, we need promises to protect them to be put into law. Commitments without legal backing are not enough. That’s why I proposed the State of Nature amendment to end the decline and start to reverse it by 2030, backed up by regulations and built in to Government policy and planning now. This must be a priority for the Prime Minister if the Environment Bill is to be a ‘landmark’ piece of legislation.”
Chris Packham CBE, TV presenter, photographer and naturalist, said: “Last year, the world spectacularly failed to meet any of our United Nations targets to protect nature. That was a disaster for wildlife, for the health of the planet, and for our own health and wellbeing.
“The ambition was laudable, but the reality was deplorable – and that comes down to inaction by individual countries. Now we have a chance to turn things round, with action to finally stop the destruction of wildlife by 2030. But the only way to guarantee the action our natural world needs is to put our promise to stop nature’s decline into law.”
Stanley Johnson, International Ambassador, Conservative Environment Network, says: "The UK set a world-leading example on carbon emissions reduction with the Climate Change Act. Now we need to do the same for biodiversity. Setting a target to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030 would do just that, and could come at the perfect moment ahead of global climate and nature talks. Of course, the Prime Minister’s pledge to protect 30 per cent of land and sea will be a crucial part of achieving the target and should also be backed up in law. The Environment Bill would be a perfect place for the government to support or bring forward a 2030 target for nature."
Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB said: “The situation is incredibly urgent. Nature in the UK is in freefall – we are losing species and the habitat they need every year. We also know that a restored and healthy natural world underpins a resilient economy, something we need as we recover from a disease generated through our appalling treatment of the natural world. Actions not just words are now required.
“Ten years ago, a promise was made to ‘improve the natural world within a generation’ but the world has missed almost all its pledges. It’s clear that promises are simply not enough. The Environment Bill must commit us to tacking the nature crisis on our own doorstep, with stronger and binding legal targets to ensure we keep and deliver on our promises and a new Office for Environmental Protection with the teeth to help make sure that happens. In ten years’ time we have to be able to look back at this moment and know it was the point when we genuinely committed to revive our world.”
Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts said: “In the last fifty years we’ve witnessed the gradual disappearance of wildlife in our country. Hedgehogs, cuckoos, red squirrels and turtle doves are now a rare sight – and birdsong is quieter every year. We know that around half of UK wildlife has decreased since 1970, with 1 in 7 species now at risk of extinction.
“Almost a decade ago the Government promised to reverse this decline and leave the environment in a better state, but action has been painfully slow. We need to see an ambitious target written into law – one that will provide the impetus for nature’s recovery by 2030. This is the only way of guaranteeing real action across Government to bring back abundance – humming, buzzing and singing – to the natural world.”
Hilary McGrady, Director-General at the National Trust said: “We are at a crossroads. Nature is in decline, homes for wildlife are vanishing before our eyes and some of our most special and significant historical places are being exposed to extreme weather events like never before. From seals to songbirds, forests to fells, people are already helping our landscapes and our nature to adapt to the new extremes. But there’s so much more we can all do.
“The Government has ambitious plans – it wants to be a global leader for the environment this year and to have world leading environment standards. We can’t afford to procrastinate - we are desperate for these to be put into action. This means putting in place meaningful goals to halt nature’s decline and to accelerate its recovery, and passing a strong and meaningful Environment Bill so that we can continue playing our part.”
Woodland Trust CEO Dr Darren Moorcroft said: "Nature is the cornerstone of our existence,?but it is being depleted at an alarming rate.?Biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history and our demands on nature continue to increase. Sadly, the UK has led the way in this - the demands we place on land over many decades has left us?arguably?the most nature depleted country in Europe?.?? Irreplaceable ancient woods continue to be threatened by development.
"This has to stop. Boris Johnson has asked world leaders to reverse the decline in nature yet seems incapable of bridging the gap between words on the international stage and action at home.?Amending the Environment Bill with a clause which commits to turning around nature loss is the way to signal that he means business.
"As with climate change, the world is watching the UK this year. It is incumbent upon us to show leadership in restoring nature. Intent is simply not enough. Legally binding protection must be brought in to ensure wildlife and its habitats are secured for future generations. Without that willingness, we are all impoverished."
Rewilding Britain's Chief Executive Rebecca Wrigley said: "We want to see rewilding flourishing across Britain – to give nature on this island a richer, brighter, more vibrant future. But while the UK Government is expecting the world to agree to reverse nature’s decline by 2030, it’s not prepared to set a target in domestic law to do the same here. That's why we're part of this huge alliance of environmental groups, calling on the Government to amend its flagship Environment Bill, and to put nature's recovery into law."
Ian Dunn, CEO, Plantlife, said: “Warm words must now be backed up by hard-edged action. With one in five British wild flowers threatened with extinction, and 97% of wild flower meadows lost, the need for legally-binding nature recovery targets to match the encouraging rhetoric could not be starker or more urgent.
“As the UK prepares to host COP26 and the G7, the Prime Minister has the opportunity to demonstrate genuine leadership by ensuring the Environment Bill reverses alarming declines that have seen once familiar flowers flounder in embattled habitats like heathlands and sand dunes. Without a backbone in law, we will witness the extinction of iconic plants within a generation with a disastrous knock-on effect for wildlife. Plants and fungi underpin all ecosystems so, when we lose starfruit, fen ragwort or wood calamint from our landscapes, all nature quakes.”
Chris Butler-Stroud, CEO Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said: “We need to see promises to restore nature backed up in law. If the Government is serious about its leadership role on the climate and nature emergencies it has to show a sea change in ambition to restore the UK’s marine environment by 2030. This means reversing years of overuse and pollution, championing fishing practices that embrace the goal of eliminating bycatch, and recognising that we need a recovered, healthy Ocean – from the smallest plankton to the greatest whales – as part of a nature-based solution to the climate crisis.”
Mark Lloyd, CEO of the Rivers Trust, said: “The general malaise with nature is particularly keenly felt in the freshwater environment, which is such a fundamental part of our natural world and vital for human existence. We must have clear, legally-binding targets around which the whole of society can focus a collaborative, integrated effort to restore healthy, functioning ecosystems.”
Julie Williams, CEO of Butterfly Conservation, said: “Our research shows clear declines in the distribution and abundance of butterflies and moths - indicators of the crisis facing nature. We have the knowledge to save those species at risk but, in the run up to the UN Global Biodiversity Conference in China in October, we need government to stop foot-dragging and deliver the support and resources for us and all our partners to conserve species on the ground. To ensure that commitments to halt the decline of the natural world are upheld by government we need these to be enshrined in law”