Make the loss of nature and wildlife a top priority in the UK General Election

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My name is Bella Lack. I’m 16, and I’m asking that our politicians make the loss of nature and wildlife a top priority in the UK General Election 2019 - and that the next Government makes it a priority on day one in office.

I’m part of the generation who will experience the full brunt of humanity’s disregard for the natural world if we don’t take action soon. Being 16 also means that I’m too young to vote in the election and so can’t directly help to influence which party leader is going to hold our planet’s future in their hands. However, when you know the extent of the crisis we face and the mounting challenges we'll face in the future, you cannot sit back and watch.

The UK's wildlife and nature are in freefall, with 41% of species having declined since 1970. Around the world, 1 million species are on course to extinction. At the same time soils, air and water are all being polluted and undermined, putting at risk our food supply, our health and our wellbeing. 

The nature crisis and climate emergency are intertwined: climate change is one of the biggest causes of the loss of wildlife; restoring natural habitats can help to lock away huge amounts of carbon. 

As part of a commitment to prioritise nature this election, I'm calling on for all leaders of political parties to meet with a group of young people like me from UK Youth For Nature, and to come with us to visit an important nature site during this election campaign to see how it benefits wildlife, people, water and carbon storage.

The natural world is not a supplement for us to enjoy every once in a while, it is a necessity. It is the foundation upon which all life depends, including humans. In the UK we have a responsibility to not only protect, preserve and restore our extraordinary wild areas, but also to provide an example to other countries as to why they too should protect their natural heritage. 

As a nation we must step up and face the consequences of our past actions. We have the ability to allow nature to flourish and wildlife to become abundant right on our doorstep. All we need now is the collective will and passion of the people. That means you, your friends, family and neighbours. We’re at a turning point where we either see mass destruction and allow it to continue, or we step up and speak up for what we know is right.

So please support us by signing my petition!