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Hugo Swire appears to refuse to sign vital nature pledge

Monday, 24 April 2017 0 Comments by Claire

Hugo Swire MP has not signed a high profile and vital pledge on protecting nature after Brexit, despite many of his conservative colleagues doing so.

The pledge has great relevance to East Devon as it relates to the retention of at least the same level of protection of the Exe Estuary, as well as Aylesbeare and Woodbury Commons.

In fact EU legislation protects 115,000 hectares of land and species across 122 sites in Devon.

More than one in 10 of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction and the numbers of the nation’s most endangered creatures have plummeted by two-thirds since 1970, according to the most recent State of Nature report published last year.

The abundance of all wildlife has also fallen, with one in six animals, birds, fish and plants having been lost, the report found.

Together with historical deforestation and industrialisation, these trends have left the UK “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”, with most of the country having gone past the threshold at which “ecosystems may no longer reliably meet society’s needs”........

Over 200 MPs nationally have signed up to the promise, including Hugo Swire’s party colleague, Neil Parish.  Exeter MP, Ben Bradshaw has also signed.

Mr Swire has been asked twice to support the pledge by environmental groups - and I have twice asked him via Twitter over recent weeks.

But so far silence has ensued. 

This is very disappointing and I hope our MP will sign up as soon as possible. I am sure that many of his constituents would feel very let down knowing that he appears not to support the pledge.

The pledge - link here - http://greeneruk.org/pledge.php -  is:

“I believe that following the EU referendum, the UK government, working with administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, must build a healthy and prosperous future for all.

“This means a thriving natural world on land and at sea, clean air and water, communities connected to nature, and a sustainable economy.

“For the wellbeing of my constituents, for people at home and abroad, and for future generations who will depend on a flourishing and secure planet, I will do everything in my power to:

- establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by committing to match or exceed current environmental, wildlife and habitat protections;
- ensure the UK leads on climate change by publishing robust low carbon investment plans and ratifying the Paris Agreement in 2016;
- create a countryside richer in nature by supporting farmers and landowners to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector.

Pic:  Aylesbeare Common, which is currently highly protected under EU legislation.

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