Brexit would result in less protection for biodiversity, say IEMA members

25th May 2016


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Ecosystems ,
  • Politics & Economics ,
  • England

Author

Abimbola Adeleke

The majority of environment and sustainability professionals believe that efforts to halt and reverse UK biodiversity loss are best addressed by the EU.

A poll of IEMA members, to which almost 1,200 responded, found that 93% believe efforts to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity in the UK are best addressed within (80%) or aligned to (13%) EU policy frameworks.

Seven per cent think biodiversity protection is best addressed by UK policy rather than through measures agreed in Brussels. If the UK were to leave the EU, 60% believe that there will be a lower level of legal protection for wildlife and habitats.

In recent years, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has increased environmental management and protection requirements linked to payment support to farmers. Over two-thirds of respondents to the IEMA survey believe environmental requirements associated with CAP payments to UK farmers would most likely be reduced or removed, if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Half of IEMA’s respondents say opportunities for the public and communities to engage in the decision-making process on new infrastructure proposals would be reduced outside the EU. More than 40% think current engagement processes would be retained, with only 7% saying they would be enhanced if the UK left the EU.

The majority of respondents (81%) believe that European laws and regulations are important in providing them with a framework for being able to deliver environmental protection and improvements.

Martin Baxter, IEMA’s chief policy advisor, said: ‘Whichever way the vote goes, it is essential that environmental issues continue to be factored into infrastructure decision making and that those potentially affected are given opportunities to participate.’

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