BBC News has obtained the latest version of the draft 25-year government plan for England’s nature vision which campaigners have highlighted ‘lacks policies’. Environmentalists state the plan has a great framework for environmental management, but unfortunately it is ‘lacking in practical solutions’.
While the draft 25-year plan has been delayed numerous times over the past year, a government spokesman (told BBC News) has assured the BBC that it will be delivered “in due course”. The plan is to be expected in the summer or autumn but sceptics believe that it may not even be published.
The report states:
“Determining woodland planting locations using only timber values and foregone agricultural production suggests that new woodlands ought to be planted on the least productive agricultural land – mainly in the uplands. This policy gives £66m per year benefit.
“However considering carbon and recreational benefits, the highest values are closer to where people work and live. This gives £546m per year.
“Such analysis provides landowners with better information to inform their decisions.”
The pledges illustrated in the draft 25-year government nature plan are:
- Our water will be cleaner and healthier
- Our plants and wildlife will be healthier and our habitats better managed
- Our air will be of better quality
- Our seas will be cleaner
- Our country will use resources more efficiently
- Our country will develop a low carbon economy
The document mentions a joined-up policy on flood prevention, water abstraction, irrigation, wildlife, and soil conservation.
While the draft 25-year plan supports the £1.5m pocket fund to bring in small local parks but fails to acknowledge the shortage of funding.
A Defra spokesman stated:
“We are still committed to publishing the plan and have been engaging on issues with key stakeholders with a view to publishing in due course.” Adding, “Our ambition is to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it, and we are committed to publishing a long-term plan that builds on our long history of wildlife and environmental protection, and sets out a new approach to managing the environment.
“We’re working closely with a range of environmental and conservation groups and businesses to develop proposals.”
For further information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39557565