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UK failing to meet nature conservation targets

According to a report from the Joint Nature Convention Committee (JNCC,, the UK will miss almost all of the 2020 nature targets that it signed up to, back in 2010. The targets were set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD,, and included promises to protect threatened species, end unsustainable fishing and reduce agricultural pollution. In addition, it promised to end the degradation of land, increase funding for green schemes, and spread awareness of the reduction in biodiversity to the British public. Alarmingly, JNCC’s report found that the UK was failing to make progress on 14 out of the 19 targets that were set.

Kate Jennings, the head of site conservation policy at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB,, says: “The JNCC report says that nature in the UK is pretty bad, declining and not recovering, and that is in the context of an awful lot of rhetoric [from UK ministers] about being a world leader on the environment.”

Jennings continues: “We are going to fail to meet the vast majority of our international commitments. Some of the things presented as positive are where places are getting worse more slowly — if that’s the best achievement we’ve got, it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.”

A major CBD target is to improve the conservation status of threatened species, but the report found that: “There have been widespread and significant ongoing declines across many species,” such as pollinating insects and farmland birds.

Another recent report, titled the State of Nature, commissioned by the RSPB and put together by more than 50 conservation organisations, shows the destructive impact of intensive farming, urbanisation and climate change on habitats from farmland and hills to rivers and the coast. It found that more than one in 10 of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction, and that the numbers of Britain’s most endangered creatures have dropped by two-thirds since 1970, as well as UK wildlife in general, with one in six animals, birds, fish and plants having been lost. The study shows that the UK is now, ‘Among the most naturedepleted countries in the world’, with the majority of the country having gone past the threshold at which, ‘Ecosystems may no longer reliably meet society’s needs’. Interestingly, it also proved that the fall in wildlife over the last four decades cannot be blamed on past harm, but has continued in recent years.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our May issue. It’s undeniable that one of the best ways to advocate veganism to non-vegans is through food. There are so many wonderful and talented chefs creating mind-blowing vegan cuisine — the game has totally changed from a few years ago. The options for eating out have exploded, as we see unlikely meat-based chains even offering vegan options, and gone are the days of nibbling on a side salad, as plant-based food rightfully takes centre-stage in many restaurants. But, maybe you live somewhere with not so much choice, what happens then? Well, thanks to the range of brilliant cookbooks and videos available, anybody, no matter their location, can have a crack at a vegan showstopper. Recognising the need to make vegan food as appealing and appetising as possible, our cover stars, Ian Theasby and Henry Firth, created BOSH!, with the sole mission of bringing meat-free to the masses. We caught up with the innovators. Beauty is an another aspect of veganism that is growing rapidly, as cruelty-free, ethical and vegan products become more and more in demand. We rounded up some of our favourite items, brands and bloggers, as well as the ingredients you need to avoid. Finally, we had a really interesting debate this month, sparked by a feature written by Andrew Miles on the topic — is it easier for women to be vegan than men? Find out his, and our readers’, thoughts.

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