The Natural Environment

I have long been passionate about conserving the natural environment of England.  During my time as the Environment Secretary in the last Labour Government, I established the South Downs National Park, set up the Lawton Review, helped to put the Marine and Coastal Access Act on the statute book, undertook a comprehensive look at the health of England's ecosystems, and produced the Food 2030 strategy which stressed why domestic agriculture is so important for jobs, the economy, and the shape and character of our landscape and countryside.  I decided against a badger cull and it is clear that the cull the current Government instituted has failed.  I also voted in favour of the ban on hunting with hounds.

There is still a great deal to do to maintain and develop our natural habitats, as well as protect our diverse species.  The Shadow Environment Secretary, Maria Eagle, is committed to protecting Britain's biodiversity, and in a recent speech she said: 'Promoting environmentalism and sustainability are the key ways of making sure we preserve our planet for future generations.  We must ensure that we deliver to them a planet that can sustain them as it sustains us.'

Of course we should look at where the law may need strengthening, but ultimately this is about the way we see things and what we choose to do.  In other words it is everyone's responsibility.

Hilary Benn 

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