Five UK statutory nature agencies have issued a report calling for greater action and investment in natural solutions to reverse biodiversity decline by 2030. The Nature Positive 2030 report by Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, NatureScot, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee sets out how the UK can meet its commitments in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, and ensure that nature recovery plays a critical role in addressing the climate emergency.
Nature Positive 2030 sets out the priority actions and achievable steps for reversing biodiversity decline by 2030, and concludes that we are currently not on track to reach this goal, but that this aim is achievable. The report recommends nine changes that can be delivered rapidly, by national and local governments, landowners, businesses and others that will have particularly high impacts on reversing biodiversity loss this decade. These are:
- Ensuring wildlife thrives within protected areas on land and at sea.
- Better conserve wildlife habitats outside protected areas, in particular those areas identified as parts of nature networks or as important blue/green infrastructure.
- Investing in habitat restoration and creation to strengthen nature networks that deliver for biodiversity and climate change.
- Ensuring outcomes for nature are integrated in development plans on land and at sea.
- Tackling atmospheric and diffuse water pollution, especially from nitrogen and ammonia.
- Developing the market for green finance.
- Deploying nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation by default.
- Developing the UK’s evidence base so that it is ready to support the larger, transformative changes underway.
- Adopting targets to become nature positive.
The report draws on a wealth of experience and innovation in the UK to present solutions that can be scaled up to achieve change. The report also highlights the importance of restoring nature or protecting human health and wellbeing, particularly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
CIEEM Head of Policy, Jason Reeves, said:
It is not too late to reverse biodiversity loss, but it is going to take a massive effort to do it. It will require substantial funding for the statutory agencies and local authorities in particular. As a society we have to value the input and guidance of experts; the biodiversity professionals who can guide us in restoring nature that underpins our life support systems and economies. Beyond this, we have to change our entire economies and societies so that they contribute to restoring nature rather than its ongoing destruction. For example, we have to move away from rampant consumerism and GDP as the only measure of prosperity and towards new economics such as ‘Doughnut Economics’. We can make these changes and restore nature, but it will require radical changes and society truly valuing biodiversity professionals.