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RSPB warns areas like the Wash need urgent protection

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 September 2020

The RSPB Nature Reserve at Snettisham, which is part of The Wash. Picture: Matthew Usher

The RSPB Nature Reserve at Snettisham, which is part of The Wash. Picture: Matthew Usher

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The RSPB has warned not enough is being done to protect wildlife havens such as the Wash, where populations of threatened birds are declining sharply.

Photo of the RSPB Nature Reserve at Snettisham, which is part of The Wash. Picture: Matthew UsherPhoto of the RSPB Nature Reserve at Snettisham, which is part of The Wash. Picture: Matthew Usher

The charity has said the UK is failing on international goals to protect land and sea habitats and reverse the slide towards extinction for threatened species.

Government analysis of its progress under international goals agreed in 2010 to reverse declines in nature by this year shows it is meeting or exceeding five out of 20 targets to help wildlife and habitats.

But an assessment by the RSPB suggests the UK is doing worse than the official analysis, and is making no progress or is going in the wrong direction in six areas.

The conservation charity has warned the last 10 years have been a “lost decade” for nature and is calling on the Government to push for international action and implement new legally binding national targets, backed up with sufficient funding.

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The call comes ahead of the publication of the UN’s latest Global Biodiversity Outlook report, which will warn that the world has failed to halt declines in the natural world.

Countries agreed a series of goals to protect nature, known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, a decade ago under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with a deadline of 2020 to achieve them by.

In the UK, the RSPB says not enough land or ocean is being protected or managed for nature and there has been no progress on the target to prevent extinction and improve the fortunes of threatened species.

A report from the charity points to upland peatland, an important habitat but much of which is in poor health, and the largest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in England, the Wash, where populations of threatened birds such as redshanks are declining sharply.

The charity is calling on the Government to back ambitious global goals and national legally binding targets to restore species and habitats, and a UK-wide commitment to conserve 30pc of land and seas by 2030.

Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s chief executive said: “We have to put our money where our mouth is and use the next decade to do something truly impressive.”


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