One can try and put a gloss on the actions taken over the last decade but the reality of this indicators report shows that we are not winning the battle to halt the declines in wildlife or habitats. There is an equally grim recently published report from Europe on this.

Defra ‘There is coverage in today’s Guardian of the UK and England Biodiversity 2020 indicators, which were published yesterday.

The indicators report at the health of our environment including protected areas, habitat connectivity, marine pollution, air quality, and wildlife.

The Guardian reports the government is falling short on half its long-term biodiversity targets as wildlife continues to decline. It also suggests public sector investment in conservation has fallen by a third in five years.

A Defra spokesperson said:

‘Today’s statistics highlight some positive signs for our environment and wildlife, such as the contribution of UK forests to mitigating climate change and the increase in many of our bat populations. However, there remain huge ongoing pressures on the country’s biodiversity and many of our native species are in decline, which is why we must continue to act to restore and enhance nature.

The government has created over 350 marine protected areas; pledged new funding, including our £640m Nature for Climate Fund; and is bringing forward the landmark Environment Bill which sets the framework for introducing legally binding targets for biodiversity.

In the last 12 months we have taken significant steps forward in delivering our environmental commitments outlined in our 25 Year Environment Plan. We have brought forward the first Environment Bill for more than 20 years to help leave the environment in a better state than that in which we found it. The Bill, alongside our strengthened Agriculture and Fisheries Bills, sets a new legal foundation for government action to improve the environment.

Read the Biodiversity indicators report here

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