Biodiversity indicators highlight government failure on environment

By agency reporter
August 7, 2017

The UK Biodiversity Indicators 2017, published by the UK government on 3 August, shows not enough is being done to protect the natural environment, with too many indicators static or showing a decline in biodiversity, says Friends of the Earth.

Reacting to the report  Friends of the Earth nature campaigner Paul de Zylva said: "Our birds, bees and butterflies are under threat and the government’s response has been completely inadequate.

"In 2010 the UK government boasted about leading international efforts to restore nature - but three years from the 2020 deadline too many indicators are static or heading in the wrong direction. Ministers must make the protection of our natural environment a top priority and stand up to the vested interests who want to ride roughshod over our green and pleasant land.
 
“If Michael Gove wants a Green Brexit, he must build on existing EU regulations and develop a tough set of measures to boost habitats and allow our precious wild species to thrive.”

The UK biodiversity indicators set comprises 24 indicators and 49 measures. Of these, seven measures are not assessed in the long-term, and ten in the short term, as the measures are either under development, or analytical methods for short-term assessment need to be refined. Twenty of the 42 measures assessed over the long term show an improvement, compared to 11 of the 39 measures that are assessed over the short term. Eleven measures show a decline in the long term, and twelve a decline in the short term.

.  Areas of concern include:

  • Percentage of UK surface water bodies in ‘High’ or ‘Good Ecological Status’
  • The status of pollinating insects;
  • Percentage of UK habitats of European importance in favourable or improving conservation status
  • The declining abundance of protected wild species which are supposed to be receiving special attention;
  • The amount of farm land being actively managed for nature

* Read the UK Biodiversity Indicators 2017 here

* Friends of the Earth https://www.foe.co.uk/

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