This is such an important issue and I have recently been taking a big interest in regenerative agriculture which not only massively helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions but has led to a biodiversity bonanza on many farms which have gone down this road. There are now birds singing on farms that were absent for many years where a regenerative approach has been adopted. If you have access to a Netflix subscription, there is an excellent programme called “Kiss the Ground” which is a really good explain about this.
The Environment Act 2021 responds to a clear and urgent scientific case, and growing public demand, for action to address environmental challenges. This landmark legislation sets a new and ambitious domestic framework for environmental governance. The Act requires a new, historic legally binding target to be set to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030, as a core part of the UK’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.
Further, the Act introduces a powerful package of new policies and tools. Biodiversity net gain, Local Nature Recovery Strategies and a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities will work together to drive action, to create or restore rich habitats that enable wildlife to recover and thrive, while conservation covenants will help secure habitat for the long term. In doing so, the Act lays the foundation for the Nature Recovery Network. I understand that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is conducting a thorough review of the Government’s suite of biodiversity indicators, to ensure that the best possible data is available, which will help inform the best possible decisions on biodiversity policy into the future.
Finally, I know that the UK is committed to playing a leading role in developing an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. As part of this framework, I am aware that the UK is championing the target to protect at least 30 per cent of the land and of the ocean globally by 2030.