In the last 40 years or so, the world has lost a huge chunk of its wildlife. This catastrophe is nowhere as evident as it is here in the UK. Our wildlife has drastically declined in the last 50 years and today, very few if any animals remain in the wild. This applies not just on the wildlife on land but also in out oceans. Of all the marine animals and creatures, only about 5% have been studied extensively. The rest are still shrouded in mystery, most haven’t been studied carefully. It becomes very sad when we continue polluting our oceans and endangering species we are yet to discover or thoroughly study. That’s why it is very important that Britain protects its wildlife from harm and extinction.
What have been some of the greatest hindrances to protecting British wildlife?
One of the greatest contributors towards the destruction of British wildlife over the past 50 years has been industrialization. Industrialization has seen many trees felled for the construction of houses; forests have been cleared to make way for industries and homes, etc. All these have led to a diminishing natural environment for our wildlife. For instance, some exotic bird species have been relegated to isolated pockets in the forests, or found sanctuary to distant places like Scotland as they seek more forest cover.
Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, laws and regulations that aim to protect and reduce the destruction of wildlife habitat have been lobbied against, and blocked by some of these industries. Corporate media has been used to stifle the voices of wildlife conservation advocates; some of the greatest funders of our politicians are those that would not want to see regulations that put the interests of wildlife before profitability.
So what’s the way out?
The good news is that all is not lost! We still can turn back the tide of destruction and degradation of our wildlife that we’ve witnessed over the decades. The Marine Conservation Society has been in the forefront in the advocacy for protecting our marine wildlife. There have been plans to set aside special marine areas that can be used as a sanctuary for marine life. These areas are out of bounds for offshore drilling companies, and other harmful practices that pose an imminent threat to our marine wildlife.
The Nature and Wellbeing Green Paper is a huge milestone in the protection and conservation of Britain’s Wildlife. This was drafted with the help of the Wildlife Trust and RSPB and it aims to guide future governments here in the UK on how to restore species and wildlife habitats that have diminished. In close liaising with the Office for Environment Responsibility, this document sets targets that governments must meet, by working closely with communities in wildlife conservation. Although more needs to be done, this a step in the right direction.
You too as a citizen have a responsibility to help conserve our environment. You just need to embrace an eco friendly lifestyle, one that also embraces companies and industries that are eco friendly. If a product you’re buying has been grown in an area that had to be cleared of forest cover, or wrapped in papers manufactured from cleared forests; say no to such. There is actually a close relationship between helping protect our wildlife, and conserving the environment. Both are intertwined, and we cannot achieve one without working on the other. That’s why the conservation of British wildlife will take combined efforts from everyone. The government, wildlife protection organizations, individuals; we all have to come together and help make our country a better place for our wildlife.