What can you ask your MP to do?

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Locally: Become a champion for a species in your local area. Visit a local scheme to increase biodiversity in urban green spaces; see the Living Highways project for an example.

Does your constituency have a community forest? Tell your MP about the benefits of the scheme and invite them to come along and visit.

Nationally: Support the incorporation of the Habitats and Birds Directives into UK law following Brexit. The Government’s 25-year environment plan has many encouraging suggestions but no legally binding targets. You could ask you MP to encourage and support legally binding targets being developed by DEFRA. See WWF’s briefing here for more details.

Follow upa more in depth ‘ask’ if an MP shows a particular interest.Ask how the UK’s next National Adaptation Programme, due in 2018, will ensure the conservation of natural habitats that play a key role in storing carbon and slowing climate change – such as peatlands and lowland fens. Find out more about the UK National Adaptation Programme here.

Other asks of your MP:

  • Within the UK Marine Strategy it would be good to see a commitment to increasing the number of Marine Protected Areas, but there also needs to be a greater ambition for their management. You can speak to your MP about this increased ambition, as well as the need for education about Marine Spatial Planning (a strategy for ensuring the ocean is used sustainably by involving all users of the ocean).
  • The Government’s commitment to eliminating plastic waste by 2042 lacked detail and legally binding targets. You could talk to your MP about the need for moving the 2042 target much sooner, and the implementation of stricter proposals rather than the weak suggestions currently within the 25-year plan. WWF says that we ‘ultimately need to move towards the end of single use plastics.’
  • Given the UK is currently in a state of deforestation, ask your MP to support woodland planting as a key priority. This can act as a major carbon sink but also bring with it many health benefits.

A collaborative report from The Conservative Environment Network and Bright Blue makes the following suggestions:

  •  ‘Given our substantial international aid budget and expertise, there is a compelling case for the UK to lead international efforts to conserve global nature, as part of this Government’s post- Brexit ‘Global Britain’ strategy.’
  • ‘Funding for global nature conservation between 2010 and 2013 on biodiversity conservation averaged £75 million per annum, which represents only 0.5% of the now approximately £14 billion annual UK Overseas Development Aid (ODA) budget. During the same period, the EU and France have both scaled-up their support for global nature conservation, and provide approximately $150-$250 million per annum of biodiversity ODA each.’ Making funding for biodiversity conservation more of a priority is therefore necessary. The report therefore suggests a ‘Global Nature Conservation Fund’ where £1 billion of additional funding is made available each year from 2020, and would be controlled by DEFRA.
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 Top 5 Facts to Drop into a Conversation with your MP

  1. Ecosystems contribute more than twice as much to human well-being as worldwide GDP
  2. Protecting ecosystems protects people; healthy ecosystems can reduce urban flood heights by 20%  
  3. More than 80% of natural processes central to a healthy natural environment are already being impacted by climate change
  4. Climate change may threaten a quarter of all species on land with extinction by 2050
  5. Conserving ecosystems that sequester and store carbon could meet the negative emissions requirements of more than one third of climate  change scenarios that keep warming to 1.5˚C
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Date of Publication: 19.07.2018