Our natural environment is important in its own right, but also underpins our economy, health and wellbeing.

 

What is the Nature & Wellbeing Act? 

A piece of legislation to bring about the recovery of nature in a generation, for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Why is it needed?

Because our actions as a society over the past century have undermined nature’s ability to support us – just as our need for that support has increased. The habitats, plants and animals that sustain us have declined consistently across the vast majority of the country. This affects how our environment soaks up extreme rainfall, absorbs carbon, and provides clean water. It affects the health of our soils, fish stocks and pollinators. It affects how we can adapt to climate change, the liveability of our cities and the productivity of our countryside. Nature has become more remote from us and less present in our daily lives. Over the same period, conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression have increased. We need to reverse both trends and bring nature back. We need to invest more time, energy, commitment and money into nature’s recovery – because wildlife and wild places need it, and because our health, wellbeing and prosperity depend upon it.
 

What would the Act involve?

It would place nature at the heart of how decisions are made about health,
housing and other development, education, economic growth, flood resilience and social cohesion. The protection and creation of healthy woods, rivers, meadows, parks and wild land around us in local, regional and national networks would help achieve objectives in all these areas. Decisions by Government at all levels would place a greater value on nature, using a framework and targets similar to those of the Climate Change Act (which has enabled action to reduce CO2 emissions). The Act would make sure we all have more nature where we live and work. And by learning about nature at school our next generations will build understanding from an early age.


Why do we need new legislation?

Our existing laws have been vital in protecting what nature we have left, but were not designed to help reverse its decline.We need legislation that explicitly does this, and recognises the fundamental importance of the natural environment to our society and the economy, as well as its intrinsic worth and popularity with the English population. The Act will make nature’s recovery a public policy objective of central importance to everyone and give it the priority that it requires.

 

Creating change for people and wildlife

Downloads

FilenameFile size
nature_and_wellbeing_bill_summary_final_pdf_13354.pdf1.43 MB
nature_and_wellbeing_act_final.pdf4.13 MB