Thursday, 2 March 2017

Post 460 - Wonderful World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day - This Earth is precious
Hey everyone, Post 460 today and it's the UN World Wildlife Day tomorrow. I was asked by another young wildlife blogger, Thomas (@EWblog) to contribute to a post on young naturalists' hopes for the future. You can read that post here. There are some great thoughts from young people about the future.

Well it's a really important day so I thought I ought to do a post too to help spread the word.

There are a lot of people I admire that have made powerful statements about the world, the environment, our wildlife, about how precious it is, how we must treasure it, care for it and pass that message on to future generations. One of the loveliest, most moving statements I have ever read about this I covered in my Post 404 for Earth Day was by a Chief Seattle - please click through and read the whole message as it is an amazing, beautiful statement about the planet and just as important now as when it was written in the 1850's. A key message from it is:

Chief Seattle 
"You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth."

As many of you know, and the message in my piece for Thomas, is that I have been thinking a lot about Brexit and how it will affect nature. This is most of what I wrote:

Like it or not the UK will be exiting the EU.
One thing I thought a lot about about before the referendum and after it, is how little focus nature has got in the discussions. Most of the talk seems to be about the economy and immigration. I was so concerned I started a petition to try and keep EU nature laws. 

Can farmers help wildlife - yes they can! 
Why did I do this? Well,  The State of Nature report told us that a lot (56%) of species in the UK are in decline. Europe has developed a lot of strong laws around nature, such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directive. We have a choice now when we exit of what to do about our laws. The plan is initially to adopt all EU regulations and then decide which we need and which we don’t. Is that good? Well reading about this I’m not sure. Farmers want the Government to look after them, and that could be a good thing, as they produce a lot of our food. But some of the current practices are not good for wildlife. Pesticides and Bees is one example. There is evidence though you can farm and improve things for nature without farmers suffering

A seasonal treat :-) 
Are the current laws strong enough? Well they are good but at the moment there is a debate about hedge cutting. Birds are protected by only allowing hedge cutting outside of the nesting season but some farmers want to cut earlier which might put some struggling species under more pressure like Yellow Hammers and Turtledoves. And, dare I mention it, there are the issues of Grouse Shooting and raptor persecution, badger culling and the potential of a vote on Fox Hunting all of which I feel very strongly about! So, I’d say we definitely don’t need these laws to be weakened.

The Environmental Audit Committee recommended a new Environment Act. They considered all these issues and made a great set of recommendations.  I’d like the Government to act on this and keep to one of its pledges nicely summed up in the first recommendation:

"In order to meet its manifesto commitment to “be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it”, the Government must, before triggering Article 50, commit to legislating for a new Environmental Protection Act, ensuring that the UK has an equivalent or better level of environmental protection as in the EU."

On World Wildlife Day I’d like to see Government deliver this recommendation and make sure it is enforced!

I think all nature lovers need to keep a close eye on things though. I asked Caroline Lucas a little question about the Government paper on Brexit, I got a simple but worrying reply (Thanks so much Caroline).
On World Wildlife Day I hope you will enjoy nature, go for a walk, see wonderful species and connect with our wonderful wildlife.

 At the same time I hope you treasure it so much that you will stand up for nature and keep an eye on what happens as we part ways with Europe.

I hope very much we keep the strong nature laws and maybe even get much better ones!

#Doonethingtoday on #worldwildlifeday. Listen to the young voices and #standupfornature
Hope you enjoyed,


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