Target: British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson
Goal: Maintain funding for policy that helps farmers practice conservation to preserve biodiversity
The European Union is currently deliberating over the Common Agricultural Policy budget, which President van Rompuy of the European Council has recommended be cut significantly. This would cut the most important wildlife and environmental conservation budget in the United Kingdom. Farmers need such support to enable them to practice conservation in their farming methods in order to preserve biodiversity.
Several bird species in the United Kingdom, including the Yellow Wagtail, Turtle Doves, Corn Buntings, and Grey Partridges are already threatened, having declined in numbers by up to 93%, and would be put at risk of extinction if the Common Agricultural Policy budget diverts funds away from the agri-environment schemes. The EU will re-balance this budget in the coming weeks, and about 8 billion pounds of funding will likely be lost. Specifically, funding will probably go towards food production rather than protection of natural areas, heritage sites within farmland and wildlife. Policies must be in place to encourage farmers to grow wildflowers, native plants and hedgerows that provide habitat and food for wildlife, and particularly birds. These measures ensure preservation of biodiversity and native ecosystems, as well as a foundation of stability in soil and plant resources for agriculture so that it can maintain stability and sustainability for the long-term.
Please request that British officials, including the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, prioritize conservation by maintaining funding to support farmers in preserving natural farm-scapes and biodiversity.
Dear British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson,
The most significant funding for conservation, including wildlife preservation in the United Kingdom is being threatened as a re-balancing of the Common Agricultural Policy budget proceeds. European Union leaders are pressuring huge cuts in the budget, including the diversion of funds to food production and away from protection of natural and heritage farmland areas, and programs to help farmers encourage biodiversity.
Birds are especially at risk, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has noted declines of up to 93 percent among farmland birds such as the Turtle Dove, Corn Bunting, Grey Partridge and Yellow Wagtail. These birds depend on areas of native plants, hedgerows and wildflowers integrated into farms. Rural communities benefit immensely from funding that supports the preservation of local history, environment and wildlife.
Please advocate for the maintenance of sufficient funding for conservation and biodiversity preservation on farmland in the Common Agricultural Policy budget.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Frank.Vassen via Flickr