Environmental Growth recognises the link between health, the economy and the environment. It involves investing in Nature, so that it is more connected, functions better and provides more.
Through this high level strategic document we want to create biodiversity gain and add value to ecosystem services and we will:
- Influence and take a lead in creating opportunities for partners to expand their ambitions, plans and approach to project delivery
- Encourage businesses, communities, landowners, health professionals and individuals to work together to achieve environmental growth
It reinforces the need to move away from the traditional focus on the protection of existing biodiversity resources towards delivering growth in ecological networks, an increase in natural capital, securing natural heritage through better management and ensuring economic activity has a positive link with our natural environment.
As the strategy is delivered it should ultimately lead to an increase in the number of landscapes, wildlife sites and marine areas recognised as important natural heritage features through national or local designation.
Follow the link below for a copy of our 20 year Vision for environmental growth_2017_FINAL
Why do we need environmental growth?
Biodiversity, the variety and abundance of living organisms and species on this planet, is in decline. The only way to reverse this is to grow our environmental resource by investing in natural capital.
Why is biodiversity important to us?
Apart from the intrinsic value our biodiverse natural environment and wildlife has, biodiversity provides visual indicators of how healthy our ecosystems are. These are the very ecosystems that provide services we need to survive; clean air and water, fertile soils and maintains important natural biochemical cycles such as; nitrogen, carbon and phosphate.
An ecosystem is a community of animals, plants and micro-organsims, together, interacting with the habitat where they live. Through our daily activities we have an impact on ecosystems, sometimes positively but often negatively. The biggest impact is often through the reduction of biodiversity caused by habitat loss, pollution, industrial process and climate change, consequently this impacts on the ecosystems and reduces the services they can provide.
An example of biodiversity and ecosystems
The decline in pollinators because of habitat loss, disease and intensive use of pesticides in China has resulted in such a large decline in pollinators that they now have to pollinate crops by hand.
Nature is on red alert and biodiversity is in decline and we must act now and collectively to reverse this trend!
- In 2016 a biodiversity stocktake revealed a decline in 56% of study species.
- 1 in 10 of these species are at risk of becoming extinct.
- Worldwide, biodiversity is dropping below safe levels to support the wellbeing of human societies.
- Plants and animals are becoming extinct at an alarming rate – much faster than previous mass extinctions that were due to natural causes.
- Across the world vertebrate numbers have fallen 50% in the last 40 years.
- UK is in a state of deforestation.
- 1,000 miles of managed hedgerow between 1984 and 2007 in Britain were lost and this loss continues
- This is affecting the ecosystem functions of habitats.
- Only 40 years of fertile crop growing left in UK soils.