Biodiversity

I made the following speech on the biodiversity strategy in December 2015

 

Sir, I have to say I did struggle early on with the funding request for this strategy.  However, I do believe States should be fulfilling its commitment to the environmental strand of the States Strategic Plan.

Members won’t need reminding that the SSP says the government of guernsey aims to ‘Protect and improve the Island’s environment, unique cultural identity and rich heritage.’ And it says that this requires, ‘Policies which protect the natural environment and its biodiversity by accounting for the wider impacts that human activity has on it.’

Clearly, this strategy meets the SSP aims. How can we not support it?

My main concern about the cost, something Deputy Trott I know will consider is just lost in the roundings, was the potential creation of another civil service post. I understand from the Minister that this may not be the case. My preference would be a 2 year contract, in order that the action plans can be put in place and then for the role to be revisited. However, I appreciate this may not be practicable.

Funding for the environment falls woefully short. I have before now expressed my concerns over such lakc of funding principally in respect of  coastal defences. I am convinced that we will live to regret the decades of underinvestment in that area and the result will mean very difficult decisions are going ot have to be made.

Money is often not spent until it is too late. The result is a false economy.

The same goes for biodiversity. The cost of reintroducing species is far higher than protecting what we have, or are we happy to see the end of the unique and rich natural heritage of this Island. We hear so much about how, from an economic and social point of view Guernsey is losing its identity, are we happy for this to be true from an environmental perspective too?

I’m not and that is why I support this policy letter.



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Email: heidi@heidisoulsby.com