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"A job half done" - Wildlife and Countryside Link reacts to publication of new environment targets

16 December 2022

Following publication of the Government’s Environment Act Targets, Wildlife and Countryside Link has highlighted the lack of targets for protected sites and overall water quality. As Ministers in Montreal promise to protect 30% of land and sea for nature around the world, publishing targets as incomplete as these is a world away from such rhetoric.

Dr Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said:

"It’s good to see Government catch up with its legal obligations and publish Environment Act targets before the end of COP15.

“Environment Act targets are more than political aspirations. They are meant to provide legal certainty, clarity for business, and shared purpose across Government. So a package without targets for protected sites and overall water quality is a job half done. Ministers are in Montreal now promising to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature by 2030. To publish targets at home without a commitment to improve the condition of our most important wildlife sites is a world away from that rhetoric.

"In January, DEFRA is legally required to review whether the targets would deliver a significant environmental improvement. The 2030 target to halt the decline of species is a real positive, but without protected sites and water quality targets, the package does not live up to that test. DEFRA should commit to consult and fill these gaps without delay.”


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