Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Should NGOs try and influence politics?

2 June, 2016 - 12:33 -- John Burton

The EU debate has heightened interest in politics, and while political lobbying is clearly outside the remit of most charities, including World Land Trust (WLT), those working within the charities often do have views.

In my own case I am with Boris Johnson’s father Stanley. Stanley Johnson, who happens to be a member of WLT’s Council, has spoken out very strongly in favour of staying within the EU. This does not surprise me (or most other conservationists), since the EU has had a very significant and positive impact on wildlife conservation, and Stanley Johnson has been one of the leaders in this field.  

The situation for migratory birds is not good in many parts of the Mediterranean, but would be so much worse without the EU. In addition, almost every treaty relating to wildlife (CITES, Migratory Species, Ramsar and many more) are all immensely strengthened by Britain being in the EU.

In many of the conventions the EU operates as a block, and the participation of the British delegation has invariably strengthened the European position. I can speak from experience because in the past I attended many of the meetings of the parties of these treaties. Britain on its own would have nothing like the impact it has as a member of the EU.

Many field guides to wildlife are to the fauna and flora of Britain and Europe, as if we were not part of Europe. The numerous islands that constitute the British Islands are of course just as much part of Europe as Denmark or Sicily. The fact that the “English” channel split is from what is now France is just a geological accident.  

As a war baby, I can remember the cold war, and we should all realise that the origins of the EU are in a post war drive for peace and neighbourliness.  I personally would hate to be ruled by little Englanders like the beer-mug clutching Farage, who does not seem to have any coherent policies other than xenophobia.

Comments

Submitted by Dominic Belfield on

And I would just like to whisper three little words to those who argue that Britain could cut it adrift from Europe and forge advantageous deals with our friends the Americans...

Three words which must chill even the hottest blood of the most ardent Brexiteer who still clings to a fond notion of a 'special relationship' with those across The Pond...

Those three words?
1. Donald
2. S.
3. Trump

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