• Comment: Walking for Wildlife

    In September, A Rocha staff and supporters joined a crowd of thousands on Chris Packham’s People’s Walk for Wildlife. The march in central London celebrated the fabulous wildlife we have in this country and called for people to join together to protect and restore it.

    It was a typically English day, complete with drizzle, but thousands of people turned out nonetheless, cheering and playing birdsong through their phones, demonstrating that there is a real appetite in this country to see nature protected and restored. The difficult truth, however, is that the goodwill and fun of the march needs to be followed up by urgent action, in our homes and in our politics, to halt the decline of nature in these isles.

    On this, as in so many of the great issues of our time, the church has a key role to play. In the mid-noughties, it was the church that gave the critical momentum to the campaign to substantially reduce the debt burden on countries in the global south. Our aim then was to reduce poverty, but environmental degradation—one symptom of which is the devastating loss of so much ... Read more...

  • Public Pressure and Plastic: Cause for Hope

    In August, the government published the results of a rare survey. It was rare because it was the Treasury consulting the public and about plastic pollution. It was doubly rare because of the huge response: 162,000 submissions from individuals, businesses and campaign groups. The vast majority expressed support for much tougher government action, including measures to reduce demand for single-use plastics such as coffee cups and takeaway boxes, and encouraging greater use of recycled plastic in manufacturing.

    The Prime Minister announced that the government would respond to the public will, which demonstrates a much wider point: public opinion counts. There’s no shortage of bad news on the environment, from recent reports on the rapid decline of UK wildlife and the scale of global plastic pollution, to the stark evidence of climate change this summer.

    But the greatest hope of urgent change lies in people making their opinions known to those in power, through their actions and words. And that means people of all kinds, ages, political persuasions and temperaments. Not just ‘campaigners’ and ‘activists’. 

    Britain’s environment is especially vulnerable right now, as the battle rages over what kind of ... Read more...

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