Biodiversity breakdown has seen 60% of all wildlife lost in the past 50 years and climate breakdown is accelerating the damage. It has been reported that the Australian fires damaged ~20% of the bush/savanna habitat and caused the death of a 1bn animals – this on top of extensive fires in the Amazon. In the UK wide spread moorland fires in 2019 and extensive winter flooding in early 2020 will further impact local biodiversity.
This was the backdrop to Bradford’s February meeting of its Biodiversity Partnership that met to explore the links between the Climate and Biodiversity Breakdowns. Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Places and Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Regeneration, Planning and Transport, opened the meeting by highlighting the Council’s commitment to taking action through its Climate Emergency declaration and achieving a net zero carbon green economy by 2038. Council’s 2020/21 budget has now earmarked £25m to tackle the Climate Emergency and includes funds for Moorland restoration, increasing tree cover and promoting community climate actions.
COP15 UN Convention on Biological Diversity
On another positive note the meeting heard that the UN CBD was preparing for the fifteenth Conference of the Parties and was drafting a new global Biodiversity Framework . COP15 meets in China in October 2020 and will inform UK hosted COP26 UN Conference on Climate Change in November 2020, firmly linking Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Action and the biodiversity goals SDG 14 Life Below Water and 15 Life on Land.
Presentations exploring the nature of the connections and some of the actions that can be taken were made by
- Working with nature to mitigate climate and biodiversity breakdown, Bob Thorp, Senior Parks and Green Spaces Manager,
- Moorland Management – moorland intervention, Danny Jackson, Countryside and Rights of Way Team Leader.
- Biodiversity Net Gain update, Miriam Baines. Biodiversity Officer
- Ten Plants Project, Sarah Goldsmith (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust)