Ni un grado mas ni una especie menos.
Not one degree more. Not one species less.
( From a Spanish placard at a young person’s climate demonstration in Spain)
As many of you know my blog has been about my own individual nature journey at Navasola, a mixed woodland valley in the Sierra Aracena in southern Spain. This led me to wish to be involved in more action to protect this amazing world of nature and so, sitting in a bar in Spain in 2016, I joined the UK Green Party. I became interested in the way members create policy and later decided to join the Wildlife and Habitats Policy Working Group. This has been another good learning curve on collaboration with others, research and constant evolving of policy framework in line with the philosophical basis of the Green Party and to do our best to create ways forward to protect and regenerate the Natural World. https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/philosophical-basis.html
I decided to begin this ABC summary of what I consider as the main principles that have driven the thinking behind the policy to share with you and I welcome discussion.
A for Abundance. Let’s have a world where there is an abundance of wildlife for its own sake but which we know can delight and lift our own spirits.
With such decline in natural spaces for wildlife we must address this with a desire to have an abundance of habitats to support the regeneration of the natural world. Wouldn’t it be a joy to see more green spaces, more birds and even more insects as so much depends on these tiny creatures. Rivers full of newts, fish, otters and beavers. All places to be 100% nature friendly is the key to solving many aspects of the climate/ecological crisis, inequalities and our own increasing mental health challenges.
B for Biodiversity. Let’s have a world where there remains an incredible variety of plants, insects, and all animals.
Well-functioning ecosystems support a variety of species. Regeneration of ecosystems including more wetlands, woodlands, moorlands, clean rivers and oceans with farming and gardening that supports wildlife will help all species, including homo sapiens, adapt and be more resilient to the effects of climate changes. From increasing the vast variety of native wild plants and trees to our coast and ocean beds being full of the variety of life that is possible when not over exploited or polluted. Regenerative farming and fishing are key to preventing more nature depletion.
C for Connectivity. Let’s have a world where wildlife can expand into more and more places and we can connect with nature.
Recognising that nature knows no borders and needs more space we must ensure good connectivity through a Nature Regeneration Network. This should help the need for wild species to expand. Where do all the young birds go when new territories and resources are needed? Nature needs space and knows no borders. We all need access to nature and to understand more about our interdependence.
D for Dedication. Let’s show the willingness to achieve a world rich in nature for all future generations human and otherwise.
To achieve nature rich environments our species must now dedicate all of our actions to this aim. All land use must consider how to improve outcomes for nature on that land. Not elsewhere. All business and public institutions must address the effect of their activities not only on carbon emissions but also on nature depletion. Not just local but all supply chains throughout the world.
Our dedication to regeneration of nature will be to accept a legal framework for the Rights of Nature to exist, persist and evolve. And nationally and internationally support the introduction of Ecocide as a crime against humanity and nature. How much longer can we accept the polluter just pays as in the recent vote in parliament re the constant over flow of sewage into our rivers? We need a better legal framework to truly protect the natural world into the future.
E for Enjoy a world abundant in diverse Ecosystems with Equality of access and opportunities.
The full policy and background research paper will be available on the Green Party website in the near future. In the magazine Green World- Jonathan Elmer, Green Party spokesperson for the Natural World wrote about the significance of the policy.
‘It represents a fundamental shift in emphasis, a movement away from traditional site-based conservation to systematic regeneration of nature.
A recent report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee concluded that since 1970, there has been a 68 per cent decrease in the population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish across the globe, and in the UK, 15 per cent of species are threatened with extinction. It also noted that of the G7 countries, the UK has the lowest level of biodiversity remaining.’
It is time to act to ensure enough is done to regenerate nature not just in the UK but all over the world. We now need to find practical ways to bring these policy principles into action.
Let’s also hope that COP 26 will be a turning point for global co-operation although constant vigilance and action will continue to be needed for the protection of our living Earth and all species on it.