British Ecological Society joins call for radical new government nature commitments
Today, the British Ecological Society signed an open letter to government, urging politicians to ramp up environmental ambitions as part of Nature 2030, in partnership with 80 other organisations, representing eight million people.
Joanna Bromley, Director of Policy and Communications at the British Ecological Society (BES) said: “I would ask all friends and supporters of the BES to consider adding your voice to this open letter calling for greater ambition and commitment across the political spectrum to ensure we hit the target to halt wildlife declines by 2030. This is only seven years away.”
The Nature 2030 coalition, led by Wildlife and Countryside link, outlines five measures needed to restore nature by 2030 and calls on all political parties to get behind these proposals in their 2024 election manifestos to meet the legally-binding target to halt wildlife decline by 2030.
The five measures include increased protection and funding for wildlife sites, a new law guaranteeing environmental rights, doubling the wildlife-friendly farming budget, making polluters pay for nature restoration, and a large-scale green jobs creation scheme.
An open letter, signed by the BES and other environmental charities, is being sent to all the main political parties to call for more radical nature commitments.
Professor Rick Stafford, Bournemouth University and Chair of the BES Policy Committee said:
“As an independent voice highlighting ecological evidence, the BES fully supports this campaign, and we encourage everyone to sign this open letter. The five measures outlined by Nature 2030 are closely related to much of the work the BES team has been doing over the last three years, with our reports on nature-based solutions, protected areas, and our upcoming report on regenerative agriculture.”
The five requests of the Nature 2030 campaign are essential to make sure the new government steps up to the challenges we face.
Daniela Russi, Senior Policy Manager at the BES added:
“The next few years will be crucial to address the climate and environmental crises. The five requests of the Nature 2030 campaign are essential to make sure the new government steps up to the challenges we face by ensuring adequate protection and financing to our protected areas, supporting more sustainable agricultural practices and requiring polluting businesses to fund nature restoration.”
In 2022, the UK signed an international deal to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030. In England, that promise is underpinned by a legal duty in the Environment Act 2021 to stop the decline of species abundance, and a commitment to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature.
However, as the Office for Environmental Protection concluded, ‘the current pace and scale of action will not deliver the changes necessary to significantly improve the environment’. This is why the Nature 2030 coalition is urging commitments to turn environmental promises into reality.
BES backs Nature 2030 calls
One of the key measures being called for is to provide more space for nature by 2030 through restoring protected land and seascapes. This will be vital for achieving biodiversity recovery and bringing nature to more communities. Our Protected Areas report found that many of the UK’s protected sites are failing to deliver for nature and are in poor ecological condition.
The report, which was presented this year in a House of Lords’ inquiry, lays out clear criteria for how protected areas need to be managed to be included in the government’s 30 x 30 goal.
Evidence collected in our Nature-Based Solution report also gives backing to the Nature 2030 coalition’s calls. Professor Stafford said: “We have highlighted the need for nature restoration, for biodiversity, climate adaptation, climate mitigation and people in our Nature-Based Solutions report in 2021, which also highlighted the ecological and economic benefits of investing in nature conservation jobs.”
The right to healthy environment is another call supported by work run by the BES. At our recent People, Policy & Planet event we heard from experts including ecologists, nurses and psychotherapists on the importance of nature to human wellbeing. Access to healthy, thriving natural environments is known to increase positive emotions and build a sense of belonging in the natural world, thereby fostering an interest in caring for it.
To support the BES and the #Nature2030 call for increased governmental ambition on environmental issues, please join us in signing the open letter.
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