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Friday, December 14, 2012

7:00AM GMT 13 Dec 2012

You can read this article by clicking on the link above.

"Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, is considering merging the work of Natural England and the Environment Agency as part of the “bonfire of the quangos”.
The Wildlife Trusts fear this will lead to a cut in staff and budgets, threatening key programmes to protect rare species.
Even more seriously, the review suggests that Natural England should “support and contribute to the Government's aims and priorities as effectively as possible".
But legal advice commissioned by the RSPB points out that this clashes with NE’s original purpose, that is "to ensure that the natural environment is conserved.”
Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said the review threatened the independence of NE and therefore its ability to stand up to the Government on controversial planning decisions."

Just seen this news item. I must do some more research on it!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Doha Climate Talks

There is plenty to read about these talks. I haven't heard much if anything on the BBC News about the importance of Global agreement on climate change. The Guardian as usual is a good place to see what is going on or not!!

Apparently Lord Monkton was escorted  / thrown out of the talks for impersonating a Burmese delegate.

Climate change talks deadlocked on final day of UN summit

Talks on a new climate deal ground on through Friday night in Qatar, as countries failed to agree on key issues including: rescuing the Kyoto protocol, finance and compensation for poor countries suffering the effects of climate change, and how to structure a proposed new global climate change agreement.
The negotiations, which have gone on for more than a fortnight, looked set to last for most of Saturday. But the marathon session left many delegates hopeful of rescuing a deal amid the frustration and confusion of the night.
"We have worked without a break and people realise we need to go home with something," said one delegate.
The EU is understood to have proposed a deadline of 3pm Saturday (12pm GMT) for adopting final amendments, but every deadline that has been set so far in the last days of talks has been breached.
Ed Davey, the UK energy and climate secretary, worked through the night, meeting with ministers from developed and developing countries in an attempt to secure a deal.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Bees and the Rachel Carson legacy

Insects and Insecticides

Written evidence submitted by The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts welcome the opportunity to submit evidence to the Environment Audit Committee (EAC) regarding insects and insecticides.
Our evidence focuses on neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular:
· The impacts of neonicotinoids on insect pollinators (honeybees, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths)
· Half-life in soil; routes of exposure and contamination of non- target vegetation (such as that found along field margins)
· Impacts on ecosystems in the agricultural landscape
· Inadequacy of risk assessment for these types of insecticides
The Wildlife Trusts’ position
1. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that neonicotinoids have a detrimental effect at sub-lethal doses on insect pollinators. For this reason, The Wildlife Trusts believe that until it can be categorically proven that neonicotinoids are not adversely impacting pollinator populations, and by extension ecosystem health, Government should adopt the precautionary principle and place a moratorium on their use on all outdoor crops.