The world is talking about global biodiversity loss…
Governments from 197 countries around the world are convening at the UN Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal, Canada from 7-19 December 2022, to agree to a new set of goals for nature which will define the future of the world’s biodiversity.
Biodiversity continues to deteriorate worldwide and this decline will worsen if we stick with business-as-usual scenarios. An ambitious action plan is needed to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity to ensure that, by 2050, a global shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.
What is COP15?
COP15 aims to protect and restore Earth’s biodiversity, the measure of all life on the planet as well as its interactions with the physical world.
Discussions will cover all forms of life, from the microscopic to the mammoth, as well as conservation, knowledge-sharing and financial policies.
One of the most crucial aspects of the convention is its focus on fairness. All the nations of the world need to share resources, information and finances to ensure the effective protection and enhancement of nature.
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is needed for healthy ecosystems. Vital life processes such as the nitrogen and carbon cycle are impossible without a variety of organisms at every stage, while ecosystem services – such as pollination and flood prevention – are also inextricably linked with life on Earth.
Losing species reduces the impact of these ecosystem services and makes life for all organisms much more difficult. It is estimated that the world’s biodiversity intactness is around 75% overall, significantly below the 90% threshold scientists believe is safe.
How Earth Trust is supporting biodiversity
We believe that working in partnership, collaborating, and sharing knowledge and innovation that can inspire change for the benefit of the planet and people is key to solving the climate, biodiversity and health crises.
Caring for natural resources
We undertake pioneering, ambitious projects which can be used to inspire others further afield. The River of Life II project – and the partnership behind it – was carefully designed to demonstrate how nature-based solutions can benefit the environment and people without impacting on a farm’s economics. Working with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, we are monitoring the power of nature to reclaim and thrive within the floodplain. We are already seeing iconic species like kingfishers, wading birds, otters and bats making use of the habitat. Find out more about the wetlands habitats we’ve created along the banks of the River Thames.
Making noise for nature
Earth Trust is advocating for the need to Build Nature In. We recognise the need for housing and development, but feel strongly that healthy places are ones that include nature. For people and nature to thrive, we need to integrate healthy environments into the places where we work, live and play. We need assurances from the Government that the legal requirement for all development to carry out proper wildlife surveys and environmental assessment will continue, and that mitigations for loss of nature remain the focus. Read more about how we make noise for nature.
Framing our farmland with meadows and margins
At Earth Trust Farm, we aim to help pollinators by including species-rich wildflower meadows and cultivated margins around our arable fields; approximately one third of our 500 hectare farm is grassland and wildflower meadow. Across the farm we have a mix of wildflower and cultivated margins measuring between five and 15 metres wide. At North Farm the margins total about a hectare in size, so these small areas soon add up. Wildflower margins provide nectar for pollinators in the summer as well as an overwintering habitat for insects, and seeds and nesting space for birds. Ultimately, they create a habitat which can ensure a wildlife-rich farm and help us all to enjoy a more biodiverse environment. Read about our wildflower meadows project in Wallingford
What can I do about biodiversity loss?
There are steps that we can all can take, to find out more about biodiversity loss and how we can all help to combat it. Changing the decisions we make, or the actions we take in our daily lives, are an important way everyone can have an impact.
• Intensive agriculture is one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss globally, so eating a less intensively farmed diet, including choosing foods from sustainable farming systems is one way. Support nature-friendly farming in the UK and around the world nature will benefit.
• We can encourage more nature into our own green spaces include growing insect-friendly plants, leaving a patch of your garden to grow wild, putting up nest boxes.
• You can also take direct action, such as getting involved in community science projects – like volunteering with Earth Trust to monitor species – or using your voice to call for change from decision makers. Take a look at urgentconversation.org