Thursday, May 3, 2012

DeFRA's Darwin Initiative.

Now I'm not a person given to indulging in sour grapes, but I do bridle very quickly and violently when I sense a real injustice is apparent. Sadly I sense I've identified one!

Since 1992 DeFRA has presided over the Darwin Initiative and funds around £88 million have been disbursed to 150 countries to underpin 762 projects. That is a record that, sincerely, I feel we should be very pleased about and take a sense of pride in there being such mechanisms  in place. Recently has come the announcement that £300,000  will be made available to Iraq for conservation management, resources and educational initiatives to be formulated in Kurdistan, an area containing wildlife and habitats that has seen little investment in the last 30 years due to war and the ravages of an oppressive regime. Again, I have no problems with that at all and am actually pleased such action has been instigated at this early stage alongside attempts to improve a variety of aspects within Iraq now taking place. Putting right something that was clearly wrong or ignored can again provide a feeling of justified satisfaction.

I'm minded of action of a different type too. On occasions, via our representatives in the European parliament the UK has striven to bring attention to the ridiculous situation in places like Cyprus, Italy and Malta where an annual, mindless slaughter of birds takes place. Indeed condemnation of such activities around the Mediterranean Basin appears to have been a feature focussed on by various campaigning initiatives in past years. Justified action demanding improvement and change that again we can take pride in.

So how come our high principled Government and its appropriate Department can stand by and countenance our own "oppressive regime", in the form of upland landowners decimating our bird of prey populations , and not raise a finger, utter a word of condemnation, invoke stronger penalties nor fund conservation action aimed at rectifying the situation. A clear case of  HYPOCRISY IN ACTION and the pursuance of policies of convenience and choice! We have no right to outwardly criticise countries around the Mediterranean while similar activities, set firm against the laws of the land, are taking place here in the UK.   "Greenest Government Ever".......what a joke and what a travesty when set against the otherwise positive support being offered elsewhere.

One asks what has happened to the DeFRA Hen Harrier Recovery Programme implemented through its official agent, Natural England.  Tokenism of the worst kind in that one begins to suspect the programme was never laced with real intent in the first place. Playing conservation on the world stage and buying in a solid reputation is one thing, totally neglecting equally worthwhile candidates at home begins to provide a real interpretation of where the true sentiments of the Government lie.


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