Worried about Brazil? Saving the environment starts at home…

Worldwide outcry is in full swing since revelations that the Amazon has been burning for weeks.

How can we let our planet burn to the ground? How can we sit back and watch as the lungs of our earth are whittled down to ash? The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since the President of Brazil took office in January vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation. This has rightly caused fury and uproar throughout the UK, with people seemingly dumbfounded that Brazil does not recognise its essential need to protect its environment for the sake of the entire planet.

We seem to be keen to point our fingers at the developing world, but simultaneously turn a blind eye to the destruction of our own environment. The rainforest in Brazil is cleared for housing and agriculture/livestock – the very same reasons we allow our environment to be destroyed here. Plans for a new town in Sussex, Mayfield Market Town, encompassing 7,000 to 10,000 dwellings are set to destroy a vital floodplain and wipe out the habitats of listed species. Floodplains play an important role in preserving our ecosystem and fighting climate change. The West is threatening economic sanctions against Brazil. Why is it we feel the people of Brazil should be punished for wanting housing, food and economic growth at the cost of their environment, but simultaneously believe our own people are entitled to the same?

The British countryside plays a significant role in the fight to keep global warming below 2 °C and should be preserved for future generations and the health of our planet. Floodplains account for only 5% of the land area in the UK, but provide a vitally important role in ensuring resilience against flooding and drought, promoting the spread of pollinating insects, improving water quality and the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere. A London based development company have earmarked over 5,000 acres of floodplains in the Sussex Weald for development for a new town; promising new homes and employment for thousands, but at what cost to the environment?

LAMBS, a local campaign group, is fighting to stop Mayfield Market Town and save the Sussex Weald. The plans for a new town have unleashed significant opposition from local MPs, Parish & District Councils and local residents, and was deemed “unsustainable” by a Planning Inspector in March 2018, when the latest Mid Sussex Plan was adopted. Sir Nichloas Soames stated:

“What has been proposed by Mayfields breaches all standards of sustainability, it would leave your town, my town, and our rural areas with the most appalling problems on infrastructure, schools, employment, transportation, medical services and flood alleviation.”

A recent survey by market research company Delineate, found that more British people worry about plastic pollution than Brexit and one in ten adults are involved in an environmental group. This concern for the environment needs to be focused closer to home, so that those people pointing fingers at developing nations are setting an example to be followed, and not simply saying that we deserve development at all costs, when the rest of the world does not.

To find out more about the devastating impact Mayfield Market Town will have on the Sussex environment visit:

www.lambs.org.uk

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