Young people urge UK politicians to help safeguard nature

The Guardian
July 25th, 2016
By Press Association

Almost nine out of 10 young people think it is important for politicians to take care of wildlife and the environment, according to a new poll.

Two-thirds of 16- to 34-year-olds agree the environment is a top voting priority for them, the CensusWide survey of 1,000 people of all ages revealed.

The findings come as a report by young environmental campaigners urges the government to ensure nature is flourishing by 2050.

The report, written by the A Focus on Nature group, is based on contributions from hundreds of young people across the UK. It urges ministers to create a long-term plan maintain the natural world for generations.

It calls for “rewilding” and the reintroduction of extinct native species such as beavers and lynxes at suitable UK locations.

In addition, the report stated that all UK tax breaks and fossil fuel subsidies should be redirected to renewables; all agricultural subsidies should incentivise wildlife-friendly farming and a quarter of the country’s land and seas should be managed for nature.

The campaigners also want 20% of primary school lesson time spent outdoors in quality green spaces, with half of that time spent learning about nature.

A programme between the government and other organisations should create 10 city national parks across the UK and develop urban nature reserves and wildlife gardens in the country’s most deprived communities, the report urged.

The report is backed by Sir David Attenborough, who said: “None of us own the natural world. We only hold it in trust for the next generation. It is cause for hope that, as this report shows, so many of those who inherit it feel the same.”

Almost nine out of 10 of the 643 respondents aged between 16 and 34 thought it was important for politicians, businesses, individuals and charities to take care of wildlife and the environment, the poll found.

Almost two-thirds (65%) said that environmental policies were more important than policies on transport. Half (51%) said they were more important than immigration measures. Around 59% said environmental policies were as important as those on healthcare.

Read more at the Guardian.