CIOSLNP write to Thérèse Coffey

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership (LNP) has written to Secretary of State for DEFRA, Thérèse Coffey following months of confusion and delay around emerging environmental policy.

The letter was written following a board meeting where the LNP considered the impact of impending legislation and its potential effect on biodiversity, the recovery of nature, and our broader environment here in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The letter voiced particular concern around a number of issues discussed at the meeting, including:

  • Recent uncertainty surrounding the incoming Environmental Land Management Schemes
  • The feasibility of achieving the ambitions of the retained EU Law Bill in time for the end of 2023 “sunset clause” which, if missed, would risk a huge swathe of environmental protections
  • A dramatic increase in sewage discharges in our coastal waters
  • The wider concern that a range of environmental targets and deadlines which are being missed by government, including those set out in the environment act

Chair of the LNP, Lord Robin Teverson said: “Our natural environment is facing increased pressures and we have real concerns about the direction that recent policy debates have been heading. Healthy nature is fundamental to a healthy society, supporting our economic and social wellbeing, as well as helping to draw down carbon and protect our towns and villages against a changing climate. We are in an ecological emergency and need to show an appropriate level of leadership if nature is to avert this crisis.”

Nature in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is in decline – a course which mirrors global and national trends. There is evidence that in Cornwall nearly half of terrestrial mammals are found in fewer places and nearly half of breeding bird populations have declined, whilst three fifths of butterflies are found in fewer places. There is also evidence that over 30 species have become extinct in Cornwall since 1970. This is almost entirely as a result of human activity.

Nature supports us in a number of ways. It is essential for food production, provides recreation, supports our economy, provides health benefits and helps fight climate change.

The letter follows long months of mobilisation from across the environmental sector, including from LNP partner organisations. It also follows the outcomes of COP 15, the global biodiversity conference, whose new set of targets aims to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss by the end of the decade, of which the UK is a signatory to.

The full text of the letter can be found here. The LNP is awaiting a response.