Young people urge politicians to protect Britain's nature
Two-thirds of 16 to 34-year-olds consider wildlife and environmental policies to be a top voting priority, and urge politicians to take action to safeguard Britain’s natural world.
That’s the findings of the ‘Vision for Nature’ report, written by environmental campaign group, A Focus on Nature group, which sets out young people’s visions for the future of Britain’s wildlife and environment.
The report urges the UK government to take action before “irreversible damage” is caused to Britain’s wildlife and important natural places, and has the backing of Sir David Attenborough.
The broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, said: “None of us own the natural world. We only hold it in trust for the next generation. It is cause for hope that, as this report shows, so many of those who will inherit it, feel the same.”
Using data from a CensusWide survey of 1,000 people aged 16 to 34-years-old the report also shows that almost nine out of 10 young people think it is important for politicians and other decision-makers to take care of Britain’s wildlife and help preserve the environment for future generations.
Setting out recommendations for parliament to achieve their vision by 2050, the campaigners call for a programme of rewilding, and the reintroduction of extinct native species, such as lynxes and beavers in Britain.
Tax breaks and subsides for fossil fuels to be redirected to renewable energy were also called for, while it suggests that agricultural payments incentivise the management of farmland that benefits wildlife.
The report also said primary school children should spend 20 per cent of lesson time outdoors in quality green space, with half of that time dedicated to learning more about the natural world.
Matt Williams, Associate Director of A Focus on Nature and Senior Editor of the report, said: “We’re lucky to have so much wonderful wildlife and amazing places in the UK but study after study has shown that we’re losing nature at a faster rate than at any other time in recent history.
“As young people, we will be affected far more by the future impacts of the loss of wildlife than older generations. We know that things aren’t looking good at the moment, so today we’re setting out our Vision for Nature.”
He added: “We started work on this report two years ago. The fact that we’ve voted to leave the EU since then only makes it more important than ever that we have an ambitious vision for helping wildlife in our country. We hope the new Secretary of State for the Environment and the new Prime Minister will come up with an ambitious and decades’-long plan for restoring wildlife."
Read the report here