Preserving and enhancing our natural environment is incumbent on all of us, not just here in Britain but throughout the Commonwealth and around the world.
I was pleased to support the progress of the Environment Act 2021 into law; the most significant legislation yet on such protections.
Alongside the measures announced in the recent Growth Plan, the Government have reiterated its commitment to our environment.
A strong environment and a strong economy are, of course, not necessarily mutually exclusive. Following the passing of the Environment Act, this country will continue to improve regulations and wildlife laws in line with the ambitious vision this law holds.
Bureaucratic processes in the planning system often do not necessarily protect the environment: such regulations need to be fit for purpose.
Frameworks for regulation, innovation and investment that impact farmers and land managers will be looked at. It is important to ensure that policies can not only boost food production (helping keep costs down for consumers, and for food security) but to additionally help protect our environment.
These measures will include focusing on how best to deliver Environmental Land Management schemes to see where and how improvements can be made.
We need to protect and enhance our natural environment alongside boosting food production and strengthening resilience and sustainability; we should not see these as mutually exclusive goals.
In the coming months, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is to publish additional details of its plans to not only increase food security, but to do so at the same time as enhancing the role and resilience of British farmers as stewards of our nation’s countryside.
The Government’s world-leading agenda for nature recovery is backed up by plans for a legally-binding target to halt nature’s decline by 2030.
The ambitious 25-Year Environment Plan sets out this country’s move for a growing and resilient network of land, water and sea that is richer in plants and wildlife. Three quarters of our two and a half million acres of protected sites will be restored to favourable condition, securing their wildlife value for the long term.
Indeed, ensuring protections for our environment is a concern I will continue to pursue with Government, as Crawley MP and also a member of the Conservative Environment Network.
Henry Smith MP