Peers meet with members of the People’s Assembly for Nature
Earlier this week, P4P and the Environment APPG hosted a roundtable in parliament with participants of the People’s Assembly for Nature. The event, chaired by Baroness Parminter and Caroline Lucas MP, brought together parliamentarians to hear from those involved in creating the People’s Plan for Nature, and reflect on how parliamentarians and wider society can respond to the recommendations they came up with.
The participants of the assembly ‘the people’s champions’ gave powerful reflections on their experience of the inclusive and innovative process they were involved in to set out the public’s vision for the future of nature in the UK, and the actions we all need to take to protect and renew it. This involved being guided through a wide range of evidence and case studies to learn about the crisis UK nature is in. The process helped them to deliberate on these issues and find common ground to create the People’s Plan for Nature.
The champions gave personal and moving reflections on how the process has changed their understanding of the nature crisis and the world we will leave to future generations. These included:
Hearing from people from many backgrounds and experiences across the country helped them to think differently and creatively about things we can all do to align more with nature and view it in a different way.
Educating people on the importance of nature, empowering consumers to make better choices, and giving people better access to nature will create a foundation to help mobilise change.
They want to see greater accountability, enforcement and regulation to ensure the protection of nature but also to reignite a new relationship with nature rather than being merely managers of it.
They called for immediate political intervention, at the local and national level, to tackle the nature crisis – through more legislation and real change rather than just slogans and greenwashing.
Ultimately though, they would like to see a permanent assembly established – so that alongside scientists, NGOs and politicians, the voice of the community is heard too about what is going on in real life and the actions people want to see to protect nature.
The members of the assembly told Peers they hope the People’s Plan will inspire a wider ongoing conversation about a nature-positive UK, as well as a practical shift from conversation to action, including by parliamentarians. Caroline Lucas MP reflected on the powerful case the champions made and how inspiring it was to hear the impact the process has had on them, as if we get more people out into nature and experiencing the intimacy the champions describe - we can get people to better care for it.
The people’s champions demonstrated in the meeting that nature loss is not a fringe concern for the public, and that mobilising real-world action to reverse its decline is widely popular and that it is all our responsibilities to make change happen.