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Thursday, February 9, 2023

UK faces decline in plant and wildlife species, falling short of 25-year environment plan

LONDON, Jan 19 – The British government is falling far short of its 25-year plan to improve the environment, the country’s conservation authority said on Thursday, highlighting a chronic decline in key plant and wildlife populations. species.

In 2018, the government set out a long-term plan designed to “leave our environment in a better state than we found it”, publishing targets across a wide range of areas and promising a new public body to oversee its implementation.

That watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (EPO), has released its latest findings in a critical report for England.

“Progress on the 25-year environment plan is falling far short of what is needed to meet the government’s ambitions,” said OEP chair Glenys Stacey.

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The report found that of the 23 targets assessed, there was none on which the government’s progress was demonstrably correct. Of the 32 trends he examined, nine improved, eleven were static, and eight worsened.

In response, the government highlighted environmental legislation passed last year and said it would soon build on it with a plan to improve the environment. This would set out measures to “reverse the decline of nature, achieve our net zero targets and ensure cleaner air and water”, the spokesman said.

The OEP report said the goal of ensuring greater abundance of the species by 2042 appeared to be off track, with levels still falling and only limited signs of slowing. He called on the government to intensify its actions in this area.

“Our assessment shows that the current pace and scale of action will not deliver the changes necessary to significantly improve the environment in England. However, there is a clear opportunity to change course,” Stacey said.

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