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Wetlands, Industry & Wildlife - a manual of principles and practices
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Preface

by Sir John Harvey - Jones
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Every businessman and woman is aware of their obligations to mitigate the effects of industrial operations upon the environment on which we all depend. The expectations of environmentalists, however, are all too often for results beyond the ability of industry to satisfy. Industry must also remain competitive with parts of the world which show a more cavalier attitude to the problem. Seldom do the short-term economic pressures take into account the full costs of preventing or repairing environmental degradation, much of which is the legacy of less enlightened times when our understanding of cause and effect was poorer.

Leaders of industry who are determined to address these concerns, need the information and advice to guide their actions. During my term as Chairman of The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust I have encouraged the Organisation to work with industry towards lessening the impact of industrial activity on the environment. Although conservation groups are right, given their constituency, to fight development and environmental degradation, little can be achieved by an exclusively confrontational approach and we need to work together for maximum effect, We must continue to get our priorities right to get the greatest impact from the money we can make available.

During preparations for the production of the manual, WWT scientists travelled the country looking for examples of best practice in this area. They did turn up some interesting case histories, but often found that opportunities had been missed to get the best environmental value-for-money. In general, the work confirmed the need for a manual such as this. However well-meaning, those involved in the commercial world need the help of ecologists and conservationists with an understanding of natural processes and the way in which these might best be restored if their efforts and money are to achieve the greatest effect.

This project will, I hope, illustrate how, by working together, industry and conservation can act positively towards a better environment for us all. I would like to thank British Coal Opencast for sponsoring this effort. I also commend those in the environmental movement who worked on this project for taking this positive attitude, and those in industry for working with people who they commonly perceive to be reactionary antagonists to help redress the balance and make their commercial activities more sustainable.

 

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