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We need legally-binding environmental targets, says Blair

We need to create legally-binding targets to protect our environment, Alliance MLA John Blair has said.

The party’s Environment spokesperson was speaking after the RSPB NI charity criticised the Executive for failing to hit targets set to prevent biodiversity loss, with 37 of 42 goals not met. South Antrim MLA Mr Blair said while the natural world was undoubtedly in crisis, we could still act to halt further loss of biodiversity.

“The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume all ultimately rely on the delicate balance of biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis, with the majority of obligations contained in the Executive’s 2015 Biodiversity Strategy not met,” he said.

“Northern Ireland contains some of the most spectacular environmental locations in the world. Ignoring the work of those seeking to protect them will do nothing except lead to a loss of the biodiversity which occupies those locations. That is something we all should be concerned about.

“Giving nature the space and protection it needs to recover is the only answer to halt this loss of
biodiversity. Now is the time to act, and to set high ambitions. They need backed with legally-binding targets so we can not only conserve our environment but invest in it and green jobs, to ensure it remains for future generations.”