When you are told something by a habitual liar then you have to take it with a mountain of salt. About this amount…
But don’t worry about this one because it adds up to nothing anyway. Our Prime Minister is promising to increase protected areas for nature from an alleged 26% to a hypothetical 30% in the next 10 years.
The current 26% includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – areas which have no nature conservation clout whatsoever as they are mostly landscape designations. UK upland National Parks, such as the Cairngorms, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District are places where wildlife crime against ‘protected’ raptors goes largely unpunished and mostly uncombatted by the UK authorities and unsustinable land uses such as burning on peat soils get so many last chances from DEFRA that even the land owners are giggling about it. By these measures, one could ‘promise’ to make the whole of the UK a protected area and nothing would change for the better.
The ‘announcement‘ is characteristically low on detail. Where exactly does the 26% figure come from, and how exactly will it be increased to 30%? Will it be by extending a few AONBs or by some more meaningful mechanism? Are SPAs and SACs included in the 26%? would the Prime Minister like to commit to their ongoing protection, and even better protection (hopefully, much better protection) after Brexit whether there is a deal or no deal?
And what sanctions would the PM be willing to experience himself if these promises are not met? And does he plan still to be in the country in 2030? 10 years – that’s a long time. Since this government has promised to deliver things within weeks or months that it has failed to deliver, there is little confidence to be had in their decadal promises.
It’s all what I have come to think of as Piffle-Pfeffel.
NGOs welcomed it politely but without much enthusiasm or faith;
COULD BE ‘huge step towards addressing the crisis our wildlife is facing’Martin Harper, RSPB https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54320030
‘good start but…’Craig bennett, Wildlife Trusts https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54320030