Thank you for contacting me about nature.
Biodiversity loss is a global problem that needs a global solution. I welcome that at COP15, the UN biodiversity summit held in Canada, almost 200 countries agreed a new deal to protect nature. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) includes a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and to protect 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030. The GBF also commits to ending human-induced extinctions of known threatened species.
The UK played a leading role in the negotiations, building on the UK’s COP and G7 presidencies, including the Leaders' Pledge for Nature. This commits world leaders to taking action to drive sustainable food production, end the illegal wildlife trade and tackle climate change. At the recent meeting of Climate and Environment Ministers of the G7, members committed to the swift implementation of the GBF, as well as international climate finance to nature-based solutions.
Domestically, the Environment Act 2021 sets a legally binding target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030. Biodiversity net gain and a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities will create and restore rich habitats that enable wildlife to recover and thrive, while conservation covenants will secure habitat for the long-term.
Further, through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers are paid for actions that support food production and can help improve farm productivity and resilience, while also protecting and improving the environment. This includes actions relating to soil health, hedgerow management, providing food and habitats for wildlife, and managing pests and nutrients.
I am aware that when adopted at scale by farmers, these actions will make a significant contribution to the Government’s statutory environment and climate targets, and also support objectives to maintain food production and improve farm productivity. This includes the aim published in the Environmental Improvement Plan of between 65 and 80 per cent of landowners and farmers adopting nature-friendly farming on at least 10 to 15 per cent of their land by 2030.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP