New shadow environment minister

Barry Gardiner has been appointed new shadow minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Gardiner was previously Milibandís special envoy for Environment and Climate Change 2011-2013. He was also minister for Biodiversity in the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs 2006-2007.

Gardiner said: ďIn a time of economic hardship it is all the more important to understand that our national wealth is based upon our natural wealth. Mining and forests, fresh water and fresh air, food plants and pharmacy plants, ocean fisheries, pollinators and soil Ė these public goods are all part of the ecosystem services that sustain human life and human prosperity.

ďYet they are under threat. We use nature because it is valuable, but we abuse nature because it is free. The damage that people and companies do to these public goods by polluting our air, or damaging our pollinators has not been properly assessed or compensated for. It must be. The Labour Party understands this and I am thrilled to be part of our front bench team shaping this agenda.Ē

Labour shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh MP said: ďI am delighted to welcome Barry to Labourís Shadow Environment team as we prepare for the general election. He brings a wealth of experience to the team, on biodiversity, wildlife and nature conservation. I am looking forward to working with him to hold Defra Ministers to account and set out Labourís policy priorities for 2015.Ē