CALLS are being made for an ecological emergency is to be declared in Stratford district.
Members of Stratford District Council were urged to officially declare the emergency at a meeting on Monday (December 11) following the emergence of a number of official reports which state action is required now.
The declaration advocates action at both national and local levels to preserve and enhance biodiversity.
The motion, put forward by Coun Dave Passingham, requests SDC lobby the government to meet its own international commitments on biodiversity, but for councillors to also do their bit locally.
This would include developing a council policy on biodiversity to increase areas considered rich in habitats, by not only making sure they are included in new developments but including them in the next local plan.
The council will also pledge to provide leadership and to work with organisations and communities to reverse the decline in biodiversity and to develop local measures to promote biodiversity net gain.
The National Biodiversity Network 2023 State of Nature report concluded that since 1970 more than half of our flowering plants, mosses and their relatives have been lost from areas where they used to thrive.
While the July 2022 statement of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainable Use Assessment provides evidence that humans are over-exploiting wild species and habitats and the government’s chief scientific advisor made it clear that people need to change if they are to survive.
Under the Environment Act of 2021 the government aims to clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats, increase biodiversity, reduce waste and make better use of our resources. The provisions of the act will “halt the decline in species by 2030 and require new developments to improve or create habitats for nature”; and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is calling for at least 30 per cent of the county’s land to be connected and protected for nature’s recovery by 2030.
SDC’s Cabinet will consider the issue in the new year.
The declaration of an ecological emergency follows SDC’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019.
At the time, the council announced three climate ambitions that it would work to achieve by the year 2030.
The council has an earmarked climate change reserve of approximately £1.2million to deliver its climate change ambitions.