Britain votes to leave Europe behind, but we must continue to care for our natural environment
Friday 24th June 2016
Britain votes to leave Europe but not our natural environment behind
By Simon Cripps – Chief Executive – Dorset Wildlife Trust
With the EU Referendum over, the country has voted to leave the European Union. Whether we stayed or left, the challenges faced by the UK’s environment are as great as they have ever been. Our environment and nature is under increasing pressure from intensive land use and insensitive use on land and at sea. Our lives are becoming more remote from the natural world.
This vote isn’t just about immigration and economics. It is a wake-up call to focus on what we want our country to be. If we do end up having more control, do we want a healthy future for our natural world for the benefit of people, nature and our own wellbeing?
We need to move on from the EU Referendum and unite the country behind a vision for a brighter future for our wonderful British environment and for future generations. Whether young or old, privileged or marginalised, and irrespective of our cultural, religious, ethnic and political backgrounds, we all depend on a healthy natural environment and have a role to play in making it a reality.
Our politicians need to know that now the UK’s relationship with the EU has been decided, people who care for our countryside and urban environment want to see changes for the better and not a return to Britain’s old polluting ways. If we erode the goods and services our natural environment provides our opportunities for growth and development will be greatly diminished and our economic survival will not be underpinned.
We want to see:
There is growing pressure for deregulation both in the UK and across the rest of Europe.In the forthcoming new political world there is a very real risk that the pressure for deregulation and reduced environmental standards will grow. It is everyone’s interest: planner, developer and environmentalist, to make sure that the benefits for environment that we have seen inside the EU are not lost through deregulation or a lack of international cooperation.
Dorset Wildlife Trust and The Wildlife Trusts around the country are working to create a Living Landscape and to secure Living Seas. Our vision paints a positive and optimistic picture of what can be achieved in partnership, and it is more important than ever that we work together to make it a reality. Our natural environment is vital for, and underpins, our economic development and, in these times of great change, is never more important.
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