NEWS AND VIEWS: Although £40 million is nowhere near enough to be pledged by Boris Johnson for green spaces and conservation jobs in England, it is a step in the right direction. Craig Bennett, the chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, welcomed the investment but said that far more is needed. He strongly believes that additional funding is required to help to tackle the nature and climate crisis.
There is certainly a very potent link between building a better environment, which means building an environment where wildlife and nature is protected and nurtured, and the welfare of the citizens of the country. There is a need for citizens to reconnect with nature. In addition, there is money to be made in environmentally friendly projects. People are more switched on to the environment. They want to see an improved environment and are willing to participate and spend money in this area of commerce.
The Prime Minister said that “with the natural world under threat, it’s more important than ever that we act now to enhance our natural environment and protect our precious wildlife and biodiversity”. I suspect that he is taking his lead from his fiancée Carrie Symonds, a known climate change activist and animal advocate. And thank God for that, I say. She is a complete treasure at the heart of the British government.
The government money would help to fund environmental charities to combat climate change and restore biodiversity. It is hoped that thousands of jobs will be created. The restoration of damaged wildlife habitats, the planting of new woodland and the restoration of peatlands and wetlands is planned.
Boris also said that “Britain’s iconic landscapes are part of the fabric of our national identity, sustaining our communities, driving local economies and inspiring people across the ages”. Big and inspirational words but let’s see the money! The trouble is money is short because of the coronavirus pandemic. National debt is greater than GDP for the first time since the Second World War.
Some argue that the pandemic is nature’s karma to teach humankind a lesson but the trouble is that humankind, thanks to the pandemic, is running out of money to help protect nature.
Craig Bennett says that £1 billion is required, not the £40 million promised because nearly half of all species are in decline in the UK and there is a colossal task ahead of us in the conservation of British while species and the landscape.