I've long had a great interest in wildlife - and been none too impressed by the cavalier way Government so often dismisses its interests in favour of man's prejudice and selfishness. For example, it disappoints me that we continue to ban hunting with dogs despite the benefit that the practice brings to our wildlife. Personally, I don't care to participate in country sports of any sort, including fishing - but I totally support their continuance because of their associated economic and environmental benefit. So I'm interested in the assessment of how the Queen's Speech is regarded made by The Wildlife Trusts. Its as follows;
The Queen's Speech 2007 - Heel dragging on the natural environment.
"This is a disappointing bag of measures for the natural environment and wildlife. At a time when we are already seeing the effects of climate change, we should be making decisions which enable it - and us - to survive.
The Planning Bill is promoting changes which push the planning system away from valuing the natural environment. The latest round of planning reforms have been fast-tracked though the system. The proposals started to emerge from the Barker Review - reported less than a year ago. A White Paper followed this May. No draft Bill. Yet today there is the promise of a Bill.
By contrast a much needed Marine Bill is slow-tracked. Year after year we have been tantalisingly close to getting a Bill into each Queen's Speech. A Bill was a commitment in Labour's 2005 manifesto. Since then we have had two consultations. Now we have only reference to a draft Bill, with no guarantee of it reaching the statute book. This Queen's Speech gives the Marine Bill a low priority.
One kernel of hope is the Climate Change Bill. It should provide some focus for enabling Government across the board to consider how we adapt to climate change. For our natural environment and wildlife, many decisions taken by Government could help or hinder our natural environment to adapt. But will the other powers in the Queen's Speech undermine the Bill's carbon reduction targets."