Environment at a tipping point

I think the time is long overdue, that accountability was brought into the mix when it comes to those who decide on planning for the future.

It is so easy to forget that we are totally reliant on a healthy thriving habitat, just like any other species, and yet the key role of biodiversity is still not considered of critical importance at any stage when planning for future development.

Yes, we need to develop, but it should not degrade the environment for the future.

The building of developments to stimulate the short term economy will be dwarfed by the heavy price of mopping up the damage done by flooding, droughts and extreme weather conditions of which we have only just begun to experience.

The Stern review (2007) states that ‘…what we do in the next ten or 20 years can have a profound effect on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next’ and stresses the need for early action.

However, it seems that it is still ‘business as usual’ with the natural environment considered as a ‘nice to have’ commodity rather than the key component underpinning our existence.

This is about what sustainability really means and ensuring that we make responsible decisions for the future.

We have technology at our finger tips to ensure that every development harnesses renewable energy, is self-sustaining and supports biodiversity, and yet we watch as our house building continues to fall woefully short.

It will be interesting to see who looks back on developments built today with an element of pride…

When the next generation ask why, when everyone knew about the environment, that no-one did anything about it –who will be the one to stand up then and say, ‘Yes, that was me’?

The truth is, whatever anyone’s thoughts on climate change, we can see with our own eyes, that our natural environment is now deteriorating (British Ecological Society).

Every effort needs to be taken to ensure that we pass on a healthy environment fit for purpose, not one that is at the very edge of a tipping point.

LOUISE DIEZ

For and on behalf of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Sussex - Horsham and Crawley, Guyhurst Spinney, Thakeham