Assembly backs calls for Nature and Wellbeing Act

05 November 2014

The London Assembly has thrown its support behind calls for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England to reverse the decline in the quantity and quality of natural habitats for the country’s flora and fauna.

An Assembly motion unanimously agreed today urges Mayor of London Boris Johnson to add his backing to The Wildlife Trust and RSPB campaign for better protection for wildlife habitats.

Jenny Jones AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“With 60 per cent of UK species in decline we urgently need to tip the balance of legislation from protecting the wild plants and animals we still have left to reversing the decline in our natural world.

“It is time the government put in place legislation to place far greater weight in decision making on the vital importance of our native fauna and flora not just to secure their survival but to realise the benefits the natural world brings to our own health and wellbeing.

“I am pleased my Assembly colleagues have offered their unanimous support to the campaign by The Wildlife Trust and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England”.

The full text of the motion is:

“This Assembly is alarmed by the decline in species and natural habitats in London and across the UK which was exposed by the State of Nature report, part of a global catastrophe catalogued by the Zoological Society of London and WWF in their Living Planet Report. We recognise the importance of habitats, both in public spaces such as parks and private spaces such as back gardens, which are home to diverse species and are vital for the mental and physical health of Londoners.

This Assembly supports the work of the Mayor through initiatives such as the All London Green Grid to protect and enhance these habitats, but believes further action is required to reverse the decline in the quantity and quality of habitats.

This Assembly therefore welcomes and supports the call of The Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England. This will go beyond existing policy and legislation to secure nature’s recovery in a generation and place nature at the heart of how decisions are made about health, housing and other development, education, economic growth, flood resilience and social cohesion in London.

This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to support this proposal.”

 

Notes to editors:

Jenny Jones AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.