Boost for biodiversity is beneficial but where is the funding, asks CLA

23 October 2013

The CLA today (20 August) welcomed the Government's strategy to boost biodiversity but questioned where the money will come from to help look after wildlife habitats.

The Association said Biodiversity 2020: A strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem servicescontained good-thinking behind its ideas to create and maintain ecosystems but is concerned the funding will not be in place to deliver the planned outcomes by 2020.

CLA President William Worsley said: "The strategy is good and we lend our support to it. However, it needs to make clear where the money will come from to look after these ecosystems. Land managers are best placed to deliver these environmental services but must be incentivised to do so."

Mr Worsley welcomed the link between Biodiversity 2020 and the recently published draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), to benefit wildlife habitats, but questioned whether additional regulation was the right way forward.

He said: "Given the Government's commitment to cutting red tape, regulating Nature Improvement Areas through the planning system seems a waste of resource and overly bureaucratic, particularly when existing 'landscape scale' management is already working without such rules.

"There are environmental challenges here but farmers and land managers are at the forefront of delivering ecosystem services. However, to meet these challenges, rural businesses must be allowed to be sustainable and profitable, otherwise we will continue to see market failure in the delivery of environmental services."