Category: Blog Posts

UK govt fails to hit biodiversity targets

In news that will come as no surprise to anyone paying attention, the UK has failed to meet nearly all of the biodiversity targets set at the 2010 Convention on Biological Biodiversity held in Nagoya, Japan (COP 9, which opened that year by saying that, “In April 2002, the Parties to the Convention committed themselves to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth” – a target which was also missed). According to an analysis by the RSPB the UK has failed to reach 17 out of 20 UN biodiversity targets agreed on at COP 9 in 2010, saying that the gap between rhetoric and reality has resulted in a “lost decade for nature” (a refrain repeated in the BBC’s ‘Extinction: The Facts’ programme which aired last night).

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Fox Hunting lobbyists seeking way round new Covid law

New Covid-19 restrictions come into force in England, Scotland, and Wales this Monday as the number of infections rise sharply. These measures (commonly referred to as the ‘Rule of Six’) are posted on the gov.uk website. The so-called Countryside Alliance immediately announced they would be ‘reviewing the latest government guidance’ – we’re not lawyers but even we can understand that what the government announced is not ‘guidance’ but legal restrictions. The line that “this limit will be enforceable in law” should have given that away but perhaps they need it explaining again. This is NOT ‘guidance’ it is the law…

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The World at War (with nature)

WWF have just released their LIVING PLANET REPORT 2020 and it’s not good news for – well, for anyone. It’s not good news nor is it easy reading. Over well over 100 pages of text and illustration (plus pages of index and references), WWF explains – essentially – that we are taking more for ourselves and allowing less for everything else.  There are attempts to cheer us up with new initiatives with catchy names like ‘Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss’, but the facts are that the global Living Planet Index continues to decline, which means humans are continuing to ravage the planet and unpick the ecosystems all life relies upon.

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Badger Trust “Government goes from badger control to badger annihilation”

Over the year that The War on Wildlife Project has been in existence we have covered the ‘badger cull’ in some detail, with articles, analysis and guest posts, plus multiple podcasts with leading campaigners against the cull including Dominic Dyer (chief-executive of the Badger Trust, which works to promote and enhance the welfare, conservation and protection of badgers, their setts, and their habitats). Like so many opposed to the cull we were hoping that the UK government was seriously looking at alternatives to simply slaughtering one of the UK’s most beloved and highly-protected mammals (through vaccination for example), but recent announcements from the government have ended those hopes. The disappointment and anger is tangible, but the fight will go on…

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Shooting industry plumbs the depths

Last week the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust posted a rather sober press-release about the EU’s ‘Historic vote to ban lead shot in wetlands’. The decision needs to be ratified by the EU Council, but the EU vote was, WWT said, choosing ‘health over poison’. Even hunters supported the move according to WWT. And why wouldn’t they, it’s an easy-win for them. Which brings us to Natural England’s favourite pro-shooting lobby group BASC…who have announced that they will in fact stand ‘against new EU restrictions on lead shot’…

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Functional extinction 101

A recent report suggested that sharks – hunted in such vast numbers that more than 50 percent of shark and ray species that have been fully assessed by the IUCN are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction – are now ‘functionally extinct’ at 20% of the world’s coral reefs. But what does that mean? Are there now no sharks at one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs? And why might that matter anyway? ‘Functional extinction’ may be a term that is not – at the moment anyway – widely-known, but with a sixth mass extinction (humanity’s ‘war on wildlife’) seemingly imminent, it’s likely we’ll be hearing more and more about species that are considered to be ‘functionally extinct’.

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