WWF Cymru is asking the Welsh public to take action by signing their Manifesto to call on political parties to make the environment a priority election issue as poll reveals Welsh public want action for nature and climate.
- 76% of Welsh public support increasing investment in protecting and restoring nature in Wales
- 91% of Welsh public believe it is important to address river pollution
- 79% of people believe it is important to reduce Wales’ global footprint
- 83% believe it is important to restore important habitats such as seagrass and woodland
- 86% of Welsh public believe it is important that wildlife can thrive in a future Wales.
Protecting Welsh nature is an important issue for Welsh voters and could be a vote winner when we go to the ballot box next May, a recent YouGov survey (1) reveals. Three in four (76%) of Welsh public support increasing investment in protecting and restoring nature in Wales and a huge proportion of(79%) Welsh adults believe it is important to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint and restore our natural habitats (83%).
Although we may not vote until May next year, our future is being shaped right now as political parties develop their election manifestos. WWF Cymru is asking Welsh public to sign up to their Manifesto for Climate, Nature & People and call on political parties to seize this critical opportunity to make Wales more sustainable, resilient and globally responsible. WWF Cymru wants the next Welsh Government to: deliver a green and just economy by putting nature at the heart of every decision, reform our food system so it delivers for nature and people, protect nature around the world by making us the first deforestation free nation and devote spending 1% of all budgets to restoring nature and combating climate change.
The poll, held over the Summer, reveals that the Covid-19 lockdown has significantly changed people’s relationship with the natural world and how they can help protect it. One in four (37%) say they have become more appreciative of our spectacular Welsh wildlife. Not only are they more appreciative of access to greenspace (45%) and the benefits to their mental health (41%), but they also consider how their behaviour is impacting on the environment with 47% buying more local produce and 57% creating less food waste during lockdown.
Anne Meikle, Director of WWF Cymru says “The results show that the majority of people in Wales strongly agree that we cannot ignore the climate and nature emergency, even during the global pandemic. In fact our evidence suggests its increased people’s appreciation and concern for nature. The pandemic has also highlighted the vulnerability of our economic and food systems so we desperately need the next Welsh Government to invest in our environment to tackle the nature and climate crisis. “What political parties include in their 2021 election manifestos ahead of the Senedd elections will have a direct impact on our future. We must take this opportunity to speed up our transition to a low carbon economy, protect and restore our natural heritage, and transform our food systems so that we can ensure our economy is less at risk from future shocks, and reduce our global footprint.
We need Welsh political parties to show the ambition to truly meet the future challenges we face. Only by putting the environment at the heart of all our decision-making can we build a safe, sustainable and resilient future for Wales”.
Tackling river pollution is also revealed as highly important as the poll shows nine in ten people in Wales (91%) want to see the next Welsh Government fulfil WWF Cymru’s ask to prioritise this issue. Today, only one in six freshwater habitat types in Wales have ‘favourable conservation status’. Welsh rivers are being choked with pollution from agricultural waste and industry, and reports of major pollution wiping out fish are all too frequent. The next Welsh Government must protect our rivers, seas and land for current and future generations by spending 1% of all budgets on restoring nature and combating climate change.
A further 83% of people believe it is important to restore habitats such as seagrass and woodland. By creating and protecting these carbon-rich habitats we can fight climate change right here in Wales while providing a home for wildlife and bringing benefits to local communities by providing nurseries for fish and protecting homes from flooding.. But extra money is needed to encourage and support efforts to do this. Here in the UK we have the chance to show bold leadership at the United Nations Glasgow climate summit next year (COP26) and Wales has the opportunity to lead the way by committing to invest more than ever before in nature and tackle the climate crisis.
To demand action for Climate and Nature sign up to WWF Cymru’s manifesto: https://manifesto.wwf.org.uk/wales