By Tony Whitbread
The EU Referendum has been decided and the challenges faced by Sussex’s wildlife are as great as they have ever been. Wildlife is under real pressure from intensive land use and development on land and at sea. Our lives are becoming more remote from the natural world.
It is time to focus on the future of our natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife. To concentrate on what a healthy natural environment can do for us and what we must do for it.
We need to move on from the EU Referendum and unite the county behind a vision for a brighter future for our wonderful wildlife and future generations. Whether young or old, privileged or marginalised, and irrespective of our cultural, religious, ethnic and political backgrounds, we all depend on a healthy natural environment and have a role to play in making it a reality.
The EU has left a legacy of strong legislation and invested in many practical projects. Together, these have reduced the rate of wildlife losses and begun to reverse the fortunes of some of our wildlife. But there is growing pressure for deregulation both in the UK and across the rest of Europe. In our new political world there is a very real risk that the pressure for deregulation and reduced environmental standards will grow. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that the benefits for wildlife that we have seen inside the EU are not lost through deregulation or a lack of international cooperation.
Now is the time to come together and ramp up our campaigning to make sure that for wildlife, this change is a change for the better. As we are now responsible for our own independent future, it is up to all of us to make sure that it is a good one for the natural world.