PUBLIC LETTER TO PARTY LEADERS: MEET A GROUP OF UK YOUTH AT A NATURE SITE DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN
To: Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson.
We would like to invite you to meet with a group from UK Youth for Nature and other young people at a special place for nature during the next few weeks of election campaigning – we’re happy to pick a location and time that works for you.
We’d like to show you the value of investing to restore nature for wildlife, people, carbon and water. Our natural environment is in crisis and, we believe, ignored and undervalued by politicians and governments of all stripes. This cannot continue – the next government must make restoring nature one of its top priorities.
While Brexit, education and the NHS are top of the media cycle and your agendas, wildlife in the UK is plummeting. The new State of Nature reports this October showed that 41% of the UK’s wildlife has declined since 1970. Meanwhile the UK is on course to miss 14 of its 19 global biodiversity targets, and we are 189th in the world for our levels of biodiversity.
The loss of species like the cuckoo and the hedgehog isn’t just a loss to our culture and our countryside. The pollution and erosion of our soils, oceans, air and rivers threaten our food supplies and our health. The lack of access to green and blue spaces damages the mental and physical wellbeing of many.
The climate emergency that the last parliament declared goes hand in hand with the nature crisis: climate change is one of the greatest threats to the natural world, and restoring habitats like peatlands and doubling tree cover can lock away huge amounts of carbon.
Our marine environments are also facing adversity from unsustainable and intensive fishing practices, increasingly unpredictable environmental conditions and harmful pollution. We derive such an incredible array of ecosystem services from our seas, from food security to climate regulation, that their conservation and sustainable management is paramount for not only their biodiversity but also our future.
Thousands of young people across the UK are passionate about our country’s moths, butterflies, birds and bees. But we are alarmed at the ongoing loss of nature and wildlife caused by intensive farming, climate change, pollution of our waterways and wildlife persecution. We would like to meet with you, during this election campaign, to explain why we think restoring nature needs to be a top priority for the next government.
Matt Williams, UK Youth for Nature Coordinator
Lizzie Daly, wildlife biologist and presenter
James Miller, young environmental campaigner
Adam Barnett, young environmental campaigner
Arjun Dutta, young environmental campaigner
Holly Gilibrand, young environmental activist
Celina Chien, conservation photojournalist
Pete Cooper, mammal conservationist and zoo ranger
Emily Seccombe, Director, A Focus on Nature
Elliot Newton, Citizen Zoo
Eron Sahota, sustainable architecture student
Oliver Riley-Smith, Young Environmental campaigner and wildlife conservationist
Kabir Kaul, young conservationist
Matt Collis, Ecologist
Sam Kiff-O’Callaghan, aspiring zoologist and wildlife photographer
Emily Cooper, conservationist and writer
Lucy Hodson, conservationist. New Nature Mag.
Sophie Pavelle, zoologist and science communicator
Hannah Rudd, marine biologist and conservationist
Mya Bambrick, young conservationist and wildlife photographer