Members of the public produce first People’s Plan for Nature
Siobhan Vye of the RSPB and BES Policy Committee tells us about the People’s Plan for Nature, a plan launched today and written by members of the public to protect and restore nature in the UK.
The world’s first People’s Plan for Nature explores the public’s vision for the future of nature in UK and the actions that we all need to take to protect and renew it.
Published today, the plan lays out a vision for the future of nature and the actions that everyone – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – need to take to protect and renew it.
To get to this point, the plan was created in 2022-23 by people from across the UK, through a creative, innovative and inclusive participatory process, split into two phases.
The first phase was a national consultation that aimed to understand from the public what they love about nature and what their vision is for its future. In just one month, there were 30,000 submissions from the public, including inspiring examples of people working together to protect and restore nature. The responses to the national consultation can be viewed on the People’s Plan website.
These were taken forward by the People’s Assembly for Nature, a group of over 100 citizens from across the UK who came together over four weekends to listen to evidence and discuss the best solutions they thought could work for everyone. The citizens were carefully selected to ensure that the Assembly was representative of the of the nation, bringing together people from all sectors of society.
The design of the Assembly was shaped by an advisory group, which included Professor Nathalie Seddon, one of the expert panellists for the BES Future of Ecological Research in the UK report. The advisory group was essential to ensuring a fair, balanced and well-informed process, and consisted of members selected for both their technical expertise and diverse experiences. They represented a broad range of views and different parts of society. Their role was, amongst others, to provide advice on the evidence presented to the Assembly, and give wider context to the subject matter.
Over the course of four weekends between November and February, the Assembly’s members listened to evidence on UK nature restoration, food systems, mental health, access to nature, fishing and agriculture, from a range of world-leading experts including academics, farmers, supermarkets, local authorities and water companies. Topics ranged from ‘What has nature done for us?’ through to ‘Our diets and the impact on people and nature’.
All the speaker presentations can be found on the People’s Plan website. On the final weekend, the Assembly focussed on deliberation and discussion to develop recommended actions that would form the final People’s Plan for Nature.
We know decision makers listen when people from all walks of life come together on a single issue
The end result is a plan that calls for a fundamental change on how we value nature in the UK, including mandating the inclusion of nature in decision-making at all levels. The Plan calls for no more harm to nature, and for UK-wide and regional targets to be set to renew nature and increase biodiversity. It also calls for the creation of a permanent Assembly on nature.
We know decision makers listen when people from all walks of life – individuals, businesses, organisations and community groups – come together on a single issue. It’s how we secured the climate legislation we have today. To do the Plan – and the citizens who created it – justice, we need to spread the word far and wide, and get as much support behind it as possible. With support from businesses, charities, organisations, communities and individuals, we’ll be able to make this a turning point for nature.
For more information about the plan visit https://peoplesplanfornature.org.
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