Fauna & Flora International

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Fauna & Flora International's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Fauna & Flora International is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Chief Executive Mark Rose
Golden Stream river, Belize
The team at Fauna & Flora International, a conservation
NGO, are dedicated to one thing that drives their work:
protecting threatened wildlife and ecosystems across the
planet. Founded more than 100 years ago, FFI is the world’s
oldest international wildlife conservation organisation – CEO
Mark Rose says that it is this experience that has helped them to
shape and influence conservation practice across the world. Mark
The Parliamentary Review
that protecting biodiversity is an
absolute, number-one focus for the organisation and elaborates
on the state of modern environmental science.
For a long time, protecting the environment was seen as important, but not central,
to society or global development goals. As a policy area it was viewed as little more
than a box to be ticked on a list of more important policy priorities. In the past
decade this has changed dramatically.
Last October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
stipulated that we must fundamentally transform our societies and our economies
in order to avoid the most extreme impacts of climate change.
In May 2019, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services published a report, its first in 15 years, which said that human activity is
“eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health,
and quality of life worldwide”.
The IPBES report disclosed that up to one million species are at risk of extinction
and warned that this crisis is disrupting ecosystems and will, among other impacts
»Chief Executive: Mark Rose
»Founded in 1903
»Located in Cambridge,
operating in 41 countries
»Services: Conservation NGO
»No. of employees: 394
»Oldest conservation charity in
the world
Fauna & Flora
on human society, affect our ability to
supply food to a growing population.
These warnings have been
reinforced by the emergence of
powerful grassroots movements
calling for action, most notably the
school strikers and their 16-year
old figurehead Greta Thunberg,
alongside the civil disobedience group
These sobering conclusions from the
world’s top environmental scientists
did not come as a shock to us at
Fauna & Flora International. Indeed,
empowering communities to achieve
the UN’s development outcomes
through working with nature has long
been at the core of our work.
Environmental action versus
These factors have all renewed the
impetus for decisive political responses.
Environmental concerns are now
moving up the policy agenda, with
a net-zero carbon economy by 2050
now British government policy – and a
world-leading one at that.
Elsewhere we have seen parliaments
declare climate emergencies, including
our own in the UK, alongside
gathering momentum for a strong
global deal for nature in 2020.
There remains, however, a gap
between words and the necessary
actions. This is not a gap that
governments can overcome on their
own. These monumental challenges
will not be tackled without the
support of non-state actors, including
civil society and NGOs, such as
To do this, another gap needs to be
overcome – the huge funding disparity
between the finance needed to
preserve and restore nature and the
current levels of investment. Estimates
in a report prepared by Credit Suisse
indicate that up to $400 billion is
needed every year to protect the
environment, but that currently just
$52 billion is being directed towards
conservation globally.
This dramatic shortage of funds
inevitably means that conservation
efforts are failing to achieve what
they could – and what is necessary to
balance Earth’s systems and safeguard
human society. This needs to change,
because investment in conservation
delivers results.
The same IPBES report that warned of
the dire state of nature currently also
said that the conservation investment
between 1996 and 2008 had reduced
the extinction risk for mammals and
birds in 109 countries by 29 per cent
per country. Imagine how much more
could be achieved if ten times more
funding for conservation was delivered,
as recommended by the authors of the
funding gap study.
Perhaps we don’t have to imagine.
There are concrete actions
governments can take that would
deliver more funding for conservation.
For example, changing the rules to
enable higher rate taxpayers to pass
tax relief onto their chosen charities
could raise at least £250 million per
year, according to the independent
Charity Tax Commission.
Collecting walnuts,
to achieve the
working with
nature has
long been at
the core of
our work
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
A redirection of foreign aid could also
have significant benefits for nature
and people. Rather than financing
fossil fuel projects, foreign aid can
be a tool to deliver clean energy
and support healthy ecosystems in
Three and a half billion people depend
directly on natural resources for their
livelihoods, and many depend on
biodiversity to fulfil their daily subsistence
needs. The UN says protecting and
restoring the environment in developing
countries is essential to meeting 14 of
its 15 sustainable development goals.
Investing more in nature can help
ensure the long-term wellbeing of
people around the globe.
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity
is also central to achieving climate
goals. Reforestation, halting
deforestation and protecting carbon
sinks such as mangroves, wetlands, soil
and ocean ecosystems are all key to a
climate-stable future.
Connecting trade with nature
The changes necessary to re-orientate
our relationship with nature are not
going to be easy. A new global policy
framework that connects development
and trade to climate and biodiversity will
be a crucial step. Taking this step will
require moving towards an integrated
funding approach that recognises
that development, livelihoods and
environmental challenges all stem from
similar rootcauses.
Much more work needs to be done to
connect trade goals with foreign aid
goals, so that the exchange of goods
and services boosts the environmental
outcomes essential for securing
livelihoods. The devastating fires in the
Amazon are a wake-up call that show
the need to integrate trade policy with
environmental stewardship.
At FFI we connected these dots long
ago. Nature conservation cannot
succeed unless we build partnerships
with local people to ensure that they
are empowered to protect and restore
nature – and that they benefit from
conservation. We have embedded this
philosophy into our work around the
world, whether that’s saving tigers in
Sumatra, protecting forest corridors
in Belize or safeguarding marine
ecosystems in Scotland.
We would therefore urge the British
government to build on its leading
position by driving forward the policies
that adopt this approach and spark the
transformation needed in this critical
period for humanity.
Investment in
Siamese crocodile,


This article was sponsored by Fauna & Flora International. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development