I wrote today on the WDCS website that WDCS welcomed the UK's recommendation to Europe to establish an SAC for the Dogger Bank. I have to say that I have a lot of time for the UK Environment Minister, Richard Benyon and his civil servant team, but I sometimes wonder at the advice that they receive.
Speaking truth to power is the responsibility of NGOs, but its also the responsibility of the statutory agencies that we trust to look after the interests of the wildlife and natural environment around us. I do wonder however if those who have the ear of government sometimes get too many political signals from, I don't know, initiatives like the UK's Red Tape Challenge. For the next three weeks the Red Tape Challenge (RTC) will be focusing on the 287 environmental regulations that apply to businesses, covering issues such as waste, emissions and wildlife protection and inviting members of the public to say which ones should be scrapped if they inhibit business. We have mentioned this initiative before and would urge you to write in an advocate keeping the UK's wildlife protection measures.
It does seem that the political need to not inhibit development, especially developments far out to sea where very few can see the consequences, may mean that Ministers can receive what people think they 'want to hear' and not what 'they need to hear'. It will be interesting to see if the Dogger Bank becomes an area for offshore developments and whether the harbour porpoise would have inhibited any such developments?