The RSPB is appealing for all nature lovers in the Eastern England to add their voices to those of the more than 440,000 people who have already spoken up in defense of the European laws that protect our rarest and most threatened species and habitats here in East Anglia and across the UK and Europe.
The appeal comes three days before the closing date of a European Commission consultation on the effectiveness of Europe’s foremost nature protection legislation- the Birds and Habitats Directives- in safeguarding wildlife throughout the EU.
As of today (Tuesday 21st July), 440,435 (and counting) responses have been submitted by individuals, businesses and organizations as part of a Europe-wide campaign to stop the Commission making changes to these laws which many fear would result in the weakening of wildlife protection legislation in individual member states and across Europe as a whole.
James Robinson, the RSPB Director for Eastern England, said: “Here Eastern England the benefits the Birds and Habitats Directives have had for wildlife are there for all to see and enjoy.
“Thanks to these laws, rare birds like stone-curlews, bitterns and marsh harriers- which people travel to East Anglia from all over the country to see- have been brought back from the brink of extinction, and the habitats they depend on restored and expanded.
“On the North Norfolk and Suffolk Coasts, where wildlife tourism represents an increasingly important part of the local economy, they have ensured that the commodity this industry depends on- nature- is not only protected, but actively encourage to flourish.
“And throughout our countryside, wherever nature makes its home, they mean that the wildlife we all love and many of us spend our lives watching, studying and enjoying, receives the protection it so desperately needs if it is to survive and thrive into the future.
“The scale of the public response we’ve seen to this consultation so far and to the campaign to protect the laws that protect nature has been incredible and shows how much nature means to people. We now have three more days to really drive the message home and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already done so to take the online action to defend nature, which can be found on the RSPB website. It takes seconds and will make a big difference for wildlife.”
The deadline for responding to the EC consultation on the Birds and Habitats Directives passes this Friday, 24th July. To add your response visit www.rspb.org.uk/defendnature
• Pictured Stone Curlew by Chris Knights