"Nature is in retreat - we have seen a catastrophic loss of biodiversity across the globe as a result of man's actions.
"There is a political need to act - because we cannot leave this planet to the next generation more polluted, more dangerous, denuded of its natural riches and increasingly inhospitable to all life."
Former Environment Secretary
The UK can be a green and pleasant land again
Britain has many beautiful landscapes. We’re a nation of animal lovers. But our country is not as green or pleasant as it should be. We’re one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world, with 15 per cent of our native species facing extinction and two-fifths in decline.
Since the Second World War, we’ve lost 97 per cent of our meadows, 80 per cent of our chalk grasslands and more than half of our ancient woodland – all of which were vital habitats and beautiful green spaces for people and wildlife.
On average, only half of the UK’s biodiversity is left, far below the global average of 75 per cent. Our biodiversity has declined more than any other G7 country, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the USA.
As conservative environmentalists, we believe that we have a responsibility to future generations to halt the decline in biodiversity this decade.
Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest threats to our food security alongside climate change.
The loss of habitat to intensive farming and an overreliance on artificial fertilisers and pesticides have squeezed nature to breaking point.
The EU’s Common Agriculture Policy incentivised large landowners to continue unsustainable farming practices with disastrous consequences.
The health of our soils has been damaged, pollinators have declined, and the food we do produce is not as nutritious as it once was.
We won’t halt nature’s decline without our farmers. Nor is there any environmental benefit to offshoring our food production. To restore nature and strengthen our food security at the same time, we believe farmers should be paid to deliver public goods like clean air and water, switch to sustainable and regenerative practices, and restore nature to landscapes.
The Conservative Environment Network is campaigning to restore nature, tackle water and air pollution and strengthen our food security.
Our campaigns have successfully secured a new Natural History GCSE, a commitment to reinvest fines from illegally polluting water firms in environmental improvements, and the continuation of the Environmental Land Management schemes.