There’s a motion to declare an ecological emergency being submitted to the next council meeting on 14th October – please write or email your local councillor as soon as possible urging them to support the motion!
This is urgently needed because our landscape and bio-diversity is under huge threat, not just from the changing climate but from huge unchecked developments. The State of Nature Report 2019 highlighted the critical decline in biodiversity in the UK. 15% of UK species are classified as threatened with extinction and 2% are already extinct. We need to protect the natural environment in which we live and it is vital our Council considers the impact on our environment in all its decisions.
Our natural world is essential for the provision of food (with soil and pollinators having a vital role), clean water, fresh air, medicines, and protection from extreme weather, as well as being our source of energy and raw materials. We all derive a sense of wellbeing from a healthy natural environment.
Thanks to strong lobbying from BTN we have persuaded a cross party group of local councillors to submit a ecological emergency motion to the next council meeting on 14th October. But its acceptance is by no means guaranteed. Many local councillors will vote against the motion unless we, the voters, tell them otherwise.
We need your help – please write or email your local councillor as soon as possible urging them to support the motion! Even better attend the meeting and make your views known!
This is the text of the motion:
Motion to Declare an Ecological Emergency
1. The recent Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity confirms that our societies and economies are embedded within nature and are not external to it.
2. Humanity and the economy depend on the services that nature provides. For example, the natural world is essential for the provision of food (with soil and pollinators having a vital role), clean water, fresh air, medicines, and protection from extreme weather, as well as being our source of energy and raw materials. People also derive a sense of wellbeing from a healthy natural environment.
3. Yet the State of Nature 2019 highlighted the critical decline in biodiversity in the UK. 15% of UK species are classified as threatened with extinction and 2% are already extinct.
4. The Environment Bill will require the introduction of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy and Nature Recovery Networks as an aid to planning.
5. Councils of all colours are already declaring an ecological or biodiversity emergency or acting accordingly. These include: Bath & North East Somerset; Bournemouth; Brent; Brighton & Hove; Cambridgeshire; Ealing; Winchester; and Windsor & Maidenhead.
The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review – Headline Messages, Abridged Version, Full Report & Government Response
State of Nature 2019 – https://nbn.org.uk/stateofnature2019/
Council resolves to:
1. Declare an Ecological Emergency.
2. Maximise co-benefits from addressing Climate and Ecological Emergencies.
3. Add ecological implications alongside those for climate and sustainability in Committee and Council reports, and embed ecological initiatives within all council work areas, including COVID recovery projects and programmes.
4. Work with local communities, county, regional and national partners to promote landscape and habitat protection, restoration, expansion and connectivity, while devolving greater responsibility to genuinely-empowered community groups.
5. Work with stakeholders to provide everyone, and especially children, with opportunities for learning about and reconnecting with nature.
6. Ensure the Ecological (and Climate) Emergencies are strategic priorities for land use planning, planning policies and design guides, and protecting areas for habitat restoration and biodiversity gain. Seek to incorporate biodiversity, nature recovery networks, green and blue infrastructure and ecosystems services into the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plans and other initiatives.
7. Create a register of natural assets and estimate the ecosystem services derived from those assets.
8. Provide funding to allow for the creation of an Ecological Emergency action plan and annual progress report, which is then reported and scrutinised by Full Council and any relevant Committees.