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Be a leader in global nature conservation, Government urged

30 November 2020

The Chair of the EU Select Committee writes to the Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, Minister for Pacific and the Environment, raising concerns about reduced funding for the Bern Convention.

The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats – the Bern Convention – is a binding international agreement for nature conservation that covers Europe and some African states. Its key aim is to ensure conservation and protection of wild plants and animals and their natural habitats. There are 51 Parties to the Convention, including the UK.

The funding provided to run the Convention has decreased significantly over the last decade, and at the end of November the Parties will be discussing options for a new funding model. Discussing the Government’s approach to these options, the EU Environment Sub-Committee highlighted that this is particularly concerning in light of the increased importance of international agreements as the UK leaves the EU, and the role of nature in the Government’s priorities for next year’s climate COP.

Lord Kinnoull has written to the Minister asking for the Government’s view on the proposals; what effect the recent reduced funding has had on the scale and effectiveness of the Bern Convention’s activities; and what they intend to do in the interim, before a new funding model is established, to ensure that the Convention’s work remains effective.

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