Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Labour's vision for our future environment.

Well, I'm finally up and running again !  Given that's it's destined to rain all day, and heavily at that at times, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get something "in print". Whilst there's much I could dwell on, given that I've had almost three weeks at Spurn Nature Reserve in East Yorkshire,  I thought it sensible to start afresh and concentrate on current issues rather than commit entries to what, after all, is "historical material".  And so I took a peek at the Labour Manifesto launched yesterday and examined what they had to say about the environment and nature.

Rather than being thrown into paroxysms of rage and frustration that really did ruin the day, I have to say there are commitments expressed that I was heartened by, at least from  a very quick read.  It's always easy to nit pick, to find omissions and seeming inadequacies but, on this occasion, the thing that impressed me was the specificity of certain undertakings. The trick is in the delivery of course !

In broad terms these are some  ( I'm sure there are others ) of the declared policies which caught my eye.

  • fully embrace the goals of the Climate Change Act. Over the next 10 years plant 64 million broad-leaved trees via schools and our communities and reinstate the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
  • fully implement EU environmental protection regulations including the Birds and Habitat Directive, matters relating to air pollution  and to refuse any Brexit deal that reduces environmental standards.
  • introduce a long-term plan that stops the loss and begins the recovery of nature
  • strengthens environmental protections in farming and fishing
  • create corridors of nature that better connect protected nature sites and thus provide pathways for wildlife
  • use a precautionary principle to protect the environment and people from harm  - NOT a pay to pollute approach which wrecks our planet.    

Now I'm sure there'll be those among us who feel the above is inadequate, is unnecessary, is irrelevant at this time and so on, but it does put specific ideas on paper that allows us , the voters . to evaluate their importance to us , as individuals, and to our nations' heritage.  There are bound to be omissions ( protective measures for the marine environment for example ) but I was impressed to see some specificity coming forward following an era of recent government when the environment has been seriously short changed, if not ignored completely . The combined efforts of Paterson, Truss and Leadsom have not particularly impressed should they represent an indication of future commitment ! 

For those of us who are concerned about nature and the environment it seems necessary for us to look carefully at the declared commitments of the various parties in this particular respect and , then, set alongside the prominent issues of the day that affect us all, decide on balance who should be trusted with power. As a nature conservationist these commitments appeared to address many of the issues which have exercised my mind in recent times. Do they go far enough? Can they be delivered ? Will they be held in sufficient priority and not open to compromise ?  Who knows ?  However, the more immediate step is 
looking at what other parties have on offer .

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