Step-change needed for society’s well-being

Posted on 9th April 2013

Step-change needed for society’s well-being

A new report which states in strong terms how dependent the economy and society are on a healthy natural environment is warmly welcomed by The Wildlife Trusts.

The State of Natural Capital – published today – is a report from the independent advisory body, the Natural Capital Committee. The Committee sets out its strategic approach for the better valuation, management and measurement of resources provided by the natural environment. For example, better management of our woods for fuel, the creation of wetlands to reduce flooding, the restoration of rivers to improve water quality, or creating new wildlife-rich places where people live.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“We are delighted that the NCC has stated in strong terms that ‘our society, economy and individual well-being depends upon a healthy natural environment’ and that there is ‘no inherent incompatibility between preserving and enhancing natural capital and economic growth.’

“However, our natural assets have been damaged. They are in decline because their true value has not been adequately factored into the way decisions are made. By not taking account of the true value of nature it has been all too easy to assume the value is zero. This report clearly states this is wrong and needs to change, and presents clear recommendations how this could be done.

“We support the Government’s ambition to initiate a step-change in the restoration of the natural environment and ecosystems. The Wildlife Trusts are taking a lead on this through our mission to create Living Landscapes and secure Living Seas.
“Through supporting nature’s recovery we could also support economic recovery, improvements in health and well-being that can be sustained. Only by doing this will future generations be able to enjoy the opportunities that we do now.”

Contact information:
Anna Guthrie (Media & PR Manager) on 01636 670075 / 07887 754659 and aguthrie@wildlifetrusts.org

Notes for editors:

Natural Capital Committee (NCC)
The Natural Capital Committee was one of the headline commitments in the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper. It was established in May 2012 as an independent advisory body to Government. It formally reports to the Economic Affairs Committee of the Cabinet Office.

The State of Natural Capital Report
The NCC today published the first State of Natural Capital Report, which is available to read on Defra’s website. A second report is due to be published in early 2014.

The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK, 37 of which are in England. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.