Kevin Pietersen’s BBC podcast on trophy hunting
The BBC has launched Kevin Pietersen: Beast of Man on BBC Radio Five Live and across the BBC Sounds app for download. The podcast features former England Cricket Captain, Kevin Pietersen as he investigates the shooting of rhinos in Africa for trophies. He has also looked at the work being undertaken to conserve rhinos and spoke to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove.
The Environment Secretary’s full interview will be featured in a future episode to be made available in a few weeks, but the BBC has made available a short clip online and there was a debate on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.
The import of trophies from endangered species is subject to strict controls in the UK and a permit will only be issued if no detrimental impact on the survival of the species has been demonstrated, and the item has been obtained from a legal and sustainable hunting operation.
Defra is planning to hold a roundtable discussion with organisations from all sides of the debate in order to gain a better understanding of the issues as well as consider any further scientific advice.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Kevin Pietersen is a tireless campaigner for rhinos. His personal knowledge and experience on this issue is crucial to the debate on trophy hunting and I’d like to thank him for being such a spirited champion of change, both in the UK and around the globe.
Our Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund has supported twenty-four projects across Africa and Asia, designed to help rhinos and other species. These projects have helped to provide people with sustainable livelihoods and take tougher action on enforcement so we can safeguard these magnificent animals. Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we will continue to protect and enhance wildlife, here and abroad, demonstrating the UK’s global leadership on these issues.
IPBES report and Call4Nature letter
There has been extensive coverage in recent days, including in The Times, the Guardian, and the Mirror, on the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)’s Global Assessment Report on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report, which brings together 15,000 reference materials, lays out the threat humans now pose to the state of the environment, including the one million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction.
Most articles also touch on an open letter termed a ‘Call4Nature’ which has received the backing from nearly 600 signatories from 50 countries, including wildlife campaigner Jane Goodall, television presenter Chris Packham, WWF-UK’s CEO Tanya Steele and French actress Juliette Binoche.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove responded to the report saying:
Climate change and biodiversity decline globally are interlinked threats for wildlife and people. Today’s IPBES report shows we must redouble our efforts at home and internationally. 2020 is the year that the nations of the world must come together to agree stronger action for climate, nature and ocean protection.
Minister Coffey gave an interview to BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday morning, during which she spoke about meeting with other G7 environment ministers. She explained the report provides very good scientific evidence to mobilise and accelerate the actions we want to take on a global level, but also the policies we can take forward in our individual countries.
In response to the ‘Call4Nature’ letter Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
The UK Government has heard the Call4Nature and we recognise the need to accelerate our efforts. 2020 is the year that the nations of the world must come together to agree stronger action for climate, nature and ocean protection.
At home, we have made significant expansions to the UK’s Blue Belt, a programme that delivers on the UK government’s commitment to provide long term protection for the marine environment. Moreover, we’re taking action with a 25 Year Environment Plan to restore our natural world, and this year, we will publish an Environment Bill that will put the UK at the forefront of global efforts to improve the state of nature.
Internationally, the Darwin initiative which we help fund drives enhancements to international biodiversity. We are also campaigning to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, to agree a strong international agreement to restore nature in 2020, and for the UK to host the most ambitious climate negotiations ever in London next year.