Target Let-down

, 25 March 2022
Target Let-down
Early Purple Orchids © James and Dawn Langiewicz

By Tor Lawrence

Chief Executive

Last week the Government published a major consultation document on environmental targets. Sussex Wildlife Trust believes the proposals will fail to stop nature’s decline, let alone enable it to recover.

A consultation has been announced on the proposed long-term legally binding targets for nature, water, waste and air quality – a requirement under the Environment Act. The targets are intended to provide the legal foundation for nature’s recovery – requiring action across Government to turn the tide on nature’s decline.

The target to halt the decline of nature by 2030 is welcomed but will not meet the promise of nature’s recovery - leaving the Government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation in jeopardy. Significant gaps remain in the proposed targets, including no target for the condition of our protected sites. This is an omission that we need to draw attention to.

Joan Edwards, our National Director of Policy and Public Affairs for The Wildlife Trusts said:

“Over the past five decades, our wildlife has dramatically declined. The situation is dire: one in ten species in England is on the brink of extinction and we now live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan said they would hand over the environment in a better state for the next generation – but the reality is that the new target they have set is so unambitious that it could leave us with even less wildlife in 20 years’ time than we have now. Instead of setting themselves up to fail, the Government must keep to their word and, as a minimum, set a target that will clearly deliver more wildlife than we currently have.”

Sussex Wildlife Trust will continue to work with our national colleagues on this consultation.

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