Thursday, 13 November 2003

Concern about the rainforest

The headlines o Britain’s Independent newspaper yesterday (12 November) splashed the fact that Britain’s foreign aid to tropical rainforests was being slashed. The worst fears of conservationists seem to being fulfilled –the Blair government not content with following George Bush into Iraq, was now following his lead on environmental matters. The cost of the war in Iraq continues to escalate, and it appears that Britain is prepared to sacrifice the rainforest in order to maintain its military presence. And this was not all. The same newspaper carried reports on the changes in nature conservation – which involve the abolition of English Nature. Many conservationists will see this as an attempt by central government to silence criticism of its poor environmental record. English Nature has guarded its independence from government jealously, and on many occasions spoken out against government policies. Replacing it with a government department is generally seen as a very retrograde step.

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