As chair of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)’s strategic policy panel, Steph Wray, RSK Biocensus managing director, is no stranger to the committee rooms in the House of Commons. But, on 7 July, she was there for a very special event: the launch of a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Nature. The group, which as the name suggests, includes parliamentarians from all sides of the House and seeks to raise awareness of, and engagement with, the natural environment in Westminster.
Flanked by the newly-appointed chairman of the APPG, Barry Gardiner MP, and Green MP, Caroline Lucas, Steph introduced the purpose of the group.
“We will be changing the world through birdwatching. Making a difference armed with little more than a pair of wellies and a bat detector. We will be sharing the enjoyment of nature as widely as we can. Because if you are not familiar with nature, you won’t value it. And if you don’t value it, you won’t fight to keep it. And make no mistake, this is a fight.
“The twin emergencies of climate change and the decline in nature are the defining political, economic and social issues of our time. If anyone doubts that, citing either Brexit or Boris, then I suggest that they just don’t understand!
“It will take great political courage to make the enormous societal shifts needed in the next few years, but history will judge harshly those who wilfully ignored the need for change.”
Membership of the APPG is open to all who share its interests. RSK will be represented as the group develops its activities and influence.