Save our forests: update

The campaign to exempt forests from the Infrastructure Bill is causing a stir. A huge 150,000 of us signed the petition, and today it was carried into the Lords as they started their debate. And the government have come back with a response.

So here’s what’s happening. At the moment, if the Infrastructure Bill gets passed as it is, our forests could be sold off by this government or future governments. In fact, it’d be legal for any public land to be transferred into private hands. Right now, the only land exempt from the new law would be land owned by the Queen or Prince Charles.

What the government have said is that they are ‘committed’ to protecting forests and the ‘intention’ is not to sell them off. But this isn’t good enough.

Because unless the protection of forests is enshrined in law, anything could happen the day, year or decade after this dangerous law is passed. Warm words are good to hear – but if the government is really committed to protecting forests, why won’t it put that protection into the law?

This is why 38 Degrees members are campaigning for forests to be officially exempted from the Infrastructure Bill.