Geraint Davies Labour & Co-operative MP for Swansea West has singed the Marine Charter that has been supported by more than 8 million people and written by 44 voluntary organisations concerned with the conservation and protection of wildlife.
Geraint Davies MP said “It is vital to protect our marine environment and to ensure that our natural habitats and wildlife are safeguarded. As an MP that is proud to represent a costal constituency with the beautiful natural asset of Swansea Bay I know how important it is to care about the environment that gives us so much.
“I am disappointed and frustrated, that the current Government have not done more to protect our natural environment. Indeed, only 27 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) have currently been designated, falling far short of the proposed 127 sites.
“I know that this concern is echoed by organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society, the WWF and the RSPB. A recent report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) also concluded that the slow pace of progress on designating MCZs 'suggests a lack of commitment' by the Government on this issue.
“I am urging the Government to show far more leadership on this issue and to capitalise on the clear environmental and economic opportunities that Marine Protected Areas can offer. I also fear that, if they do not do so, we may miss the opportunity to secure the recovery of our seas and protect our natural habitats.
“This is why I have signed the Marine Charter, and I hope that the Government now listen and respond to the points raised in the Charter and take action to address these very serious concerns.
Chair of Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Marine Working Group, Joan Edwards, commented: “While the designations in English seas within this Parliament are a welcome start, there remains much to be done to deliver the truly ecologically coherent network needed. We need two more full tranches of Marine Conservation Zones designated early in the next Parliament.
“As the political parties craft their election message, the united and powerful call of 19 UK NGOs, along with 120 Parliamentarians to complete a full ecologically coherent network has to be heard. The next Government has a unique opportunity to help deliver a network that the UK can be rightly proud of, and in doing so restore the health, productivity and diversity of our iconic marine environment.”
The Marine Charter is supported by the RSPCA, RSPB, Greenpeace, Wales Environment link, WWF, and the National Trust among many others.