On today's blog we're looking at International Tiger Day promoting efforts to conserve the big cat, the drop in plastic bag sales, the Natural England chair speaking at the Game Fair and the Environment Secretary calling in Water Bosses to explain leakage failures.
International Tiger Day promotes efforts to conserve the big cat
The Sunday Express reported on International Tiger Day and efforts to conserve the big cat from extinction. Environment reporter, Stuart Winter writes that, through funding from the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, projects to protect the Sumatran tiger have been given £640,000.
Receiving just over half of this funding is Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) project working in Kerinci Seblat National Park, home to more than 150 of Sumatra’s surviving tigers.
It’s #GlobalTigerDay! The number of tigers in the wild has fallen by over 95% since 1900. While there’s hope - since 2010, numbers have risen – there are only around 3,900 left. Find out more about the 2018 Conference's aim to #EndWildlifeCrime https://t.co/t9lOWOqz3r pic.twitter.com/RXQjW5nMtm
— Defra UK (@DefraGovUK) July 29, 2018
The article goes on to report that British-based FFI, the world’s oldest international wildlife conservation organisation, has been working with the park authorities and local communities since 2000, strengthening tiger protection with forest patrols and law enforcement operations.
As a result, the poaching threat is diminishing, while tiger populations are stable in the project’s focus areas.
Over the weekend Defra’s Instagram hosted a quiz about tigers – to play click here.
In October, the UK will show global leadership in this fight when it hosts the fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade. The event will bring global leaders to London to tackle the strategic challenges of the trade. This follows the ground breaking London 2014 conference on the illegal wildlife trade, and subsequent conferences in Botswana and Vietnam.
Plastic bag sales – 86% drop welcomed
There was widespread positive coverage on Saturday of latest figures for plastic bag sales in England, which show sales in the ‘big seven’ supermarkets have dropped by 86% since the charge came into force in 2015.
The Daily Mail – whose ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign played a key role in bringing about the change, carried the story on its front page, highlighting that the average number of bags used per person has now dropped from 140 in 2015 to just 19 in 2017-18.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove paid tribute to the Mail’s campaign. He said:
The Daily Mail’s tireless campaigning on plastic bags was crucial to the success of our charge in driving down plastic use. These figures demonstrate the huge scale of this success and the collective impact we can make to help the environment by making simple changes to our daily routines.
It is only by working together we will reverse the rising tide of plastic waste finding its way into our rivers, seas and oceans and the catastrophic impact this is having on our marine environment.
There was further positive coverage across Saturday morning’s papers, including in the Times, I, and Express.
Read the full story on GOV.UK.
Natural England Chair speaks at Game Fair
There has been coverage in the Times over the weekend of Natural England Chair Andrew Sells’ comments at the Game Fair (Friday 26 July), where he welcomed efforts by the shooting community to safeguard and conserve hundreds of hectares of land for wildlife.
The Chair of Natural England said despite this work “more needs to be done to ensure there is a balance between shooting and conservation.”
“Sustainably-managed shoots are safeguarding wildlife like curlews and lapwings, reducing flood risk and storing carbon.”
Natural England has signed a second agreement with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation placing sustainable land management at the heart of BASC’s mission and recognising that 70 per cent of land managed by those affiliated to the shooting organisation are Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Whilst at the fair, Andrew Sells also launched the Wildlife Habitat Trust’s latest collectable conservation stamp.
Read more about the speech on GOV.UK.
Environment Secretary calls in Water Bosses to explain leakage failures
Today’s Times reported on the news that The Environment Secretary has called in the Chief Executives of nine water companies to explain their poor performance on leakage.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Customers expect a reliable and resilient water supply and these results further demonstrate that water companies have much more to do to tackle leakage.
That is why I have repeatedly made clear that companies must improve and recently wrote to them to outline my expectations during this period of dry weather.
I have invited the Chief Executives of the companies that have failed to meet their leakage targets - and those with the poorest performance on leaks - to a meeting at Defra to discuss how they are going to address this serious issue.
There was widespread further coverage including in The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun and on the Today Programme.