“Don’t forget nature,” say Welsh public

Natasha Yorke-Edgell

Thursday 5 July 2018

Gannet pair preening on Bass Rock

A new survey shows a clear majority of the Welsh public don’t want the Government to forget about nature post-Brexit.

The poll, conducted by NFP Synergy, reveals that 64% agree that when we leave the European Union, they want measures to protect the environment to be strengthened¹.

Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru says: “Our nature is in crisis and with months to go until Brexit, Welsh Government hasn’t set out a timeline for when they will act. We want to continue hearing the buzz of bees and enjoy watching the harbour porpoise splashing along our coastline. 

Taking action now to protect and restore nature will ensure that iconic species such as the puffins of Skomer and Snowdon lily are here for future generations.” 

The latest State of Nature report warned that one in 14 species in Wales is at risk of disappearing altogether². Charities in Wales – WWF Cymru, RSPB Cymru and Wildlife Trusts Wales – are calling for urgent action before it’s too late.

Rachel Sharp, CEO of Wildlife Trusts Wales says: “Nature is at the heart of Welsh culture and history, it’s the basis of our biggest industries, and it sustains us with our life support, clean water, air and the food we eat.  

But with most of our environmental protections coming from the EU, Welsh Government needs to act urgently to ensure our environmental legislation is as good if not better after we leave the EU.”  

This call comes as the UK Government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs consults on future arrangements for environmental governance, and enshrining environmental principles from the EU into domestic law – but their approach has been heavily criticised by environmental campaigners. The Welsh Government has committed to legislate on these issues for Wales, but no detail has yet emerged as to how and when it will do so, or how it will collaborate with the other governments of the UK to ensure shared high standards are maintained after Brexit.

Annie Smith, Sustainable Development Manager for RSPB Cymru, says: “We welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to ensure environmental standards are maintained and improved following Brexit. Securing a governance body that will enforce our legislation, so we don’t have a gap when we leave the EU, is a critical part of that.” 

The three charities will be stepping up their public campaigns in the coming months as the Brexit deadline nears. WWF Cymru is urging supporters to join its online campaign to ‘fight for Welsh nature’ at wwf.wales/welshnature

Please contact: Natasha Yorke-Edgell, Tel: +44 (0) 2920 353 047, Email: natashayorke-edgell@rspb.org.uk

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

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