Tag Archives: biodiversity

How to fix biodiversity net gain so it delivers for nature

This post is by Emma Marsh, director of RSPB England.

We are in a nature and climate emergency. Nature is in freefall and desperately needs new and stronger mechanisms to halt and reverse its decline. For too long, new housing and infrastructure development has been one of the causes of nature’s decline. The RSPB has welcomed the government’s ambition that all new development should leave nature in a better state, because it’s vital that it does.

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What the data is already telling us about biodiversity net gain planning policy

This post is by Sophus zu Ermgassen of the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent.

Although the government has acknowledged the need for ambitious action to prevent loss of biodiversity, it is committed to the rapid expansion of potentially environmentally damaging infrastructure under Project Speed. This is central to its plan to level up and stimulate the post-coronavirus recovery. But can these two ambitions be reconciled? Is it possible to improve the UK’s nature whilst also expanding infrastructure’s footprint across the country?

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We need to bring back beavers to help meet our environmental goals

This post is by Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet and parliamentary species champion for beavers.

Native to Britain, beavers once created and maintained a rich network of wildlife-rich habitats across these isles. They are both a keystone of ecosystems and a cornerstone of our natural heritage. Hunted to extinction 400 years ago, evidence from beaver reintroductions in recent years has been conclusive: the benefits significantly outweigh the limited and manageable costs. The government’s forthcoming strategy for managing wild beavers must enable this historic species to repopulate suitable areas and once again engineer life into the English countryside.

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Kunming: what’s needed to make this year’s biodiversity summit a success

This post is by Stanley Johnson, international ambassador for the Conservative Environment Network.

The date of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) has still to be confirmed.  It was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming, China in the second quarter of this year (having been postponed from 2020), but it seems increasingly likely that an autumn date will be preferred in view of the continuing disruption caused by Covid 19. At the moment, the second half of October this year seems to be the favourite option, but the final decision must obviously rest with the host country, China.

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Good planning is vital to green recovery and tackling the biodiversity crisis

intext-badgerThis post is by Simon Marsh, head of nature protection at RSPB.

“Build, build, build”. If that means building quality homes in the right places with wildlife-rich green space on the doorstep, who could object? But with rumours swirling that speeding up the planning system means cutting back vital environmental protections, and with radical planning reforms proposed, it’s time to speak up for good planning. Read more

We can’t ignore wetlands if we’re going to solve the nature and climate crises

intext-wetlands-blogThis post is by Tom Fewins, Head of Policy and Advocacy at WWT.

Recently, I attended a reception in Westminster on woodlands. It was an impressive event, where a packed room heard about fantastic conservation work. However, on leaving I couldn’t help feeling a little bit green. Not so much in an environmental sense, more one of the green-eyed monster variety. What was behind it? Well, it was the trees. Read more

We need to change our land use practices now to solve the environmental crisis

drought small.pngThis post is by Georgina Mace, professor of biodiversity and ecosystems at University College London.

The recent UN IPBES Global Assessment on biodiversity and ecosystems exposed the dramatic decline of nature. Seventy five per cent of the land surface has been significantly altered, and among assessed groups of mammals and birds, one in four species are at risk of extinction. The average abundance of native species in most major terrestrial biomes has fallen by at least 20 per cent and land degradation has reduced productivity in 23 per cent of the global terrestrial area.

This crisis not only threatens the diversity of life on Earth. Ongoing degradation and changes to ecosystems pose further risks to people through threats to food, energy and water security, as well as being a significant driver of climate change. Read more