14th September 2021 – for immediate release
Wildlife Charities and Community Groups call for the Declaration of an Ecological Emergency to help restore nature in Powys
Organisations from the Powys Nature Partnership are calling for Powys County Council to declare an Ecological Emergency and have this week submitted an open letter to Councillors asking for them to support this motion at the council’s September meeting as it has been forwarded and seconded by two Councillors.
Tackling climate change in isolation by focussing primarily on reducing carbon without full regard to nature restoration will risk significant impacts on the way we use land. Even less space for biodiversity and opportunity for nature recovery can harm our local economies and the soils and water and pollinators on which we all depend. The climate and ecological emergencies are intertwined and the solutions to a sustainable and prosperous future lies in tackling both equally.
The letter asks:
- Powys County Council to declare an ecological emergency as a stand-alone declaration.
- That councillors support the motion when it comes to cabinet for vote.
Should the vote be passed, the organisations ask for the following:
- Powys County Council appoint a Nature Recovery officer as a permanent position to support the delivery of nature’s recovery and to support the ongoing work of the Powys Nature Partnership.
- A budget is allocated to nature’s restoration and a specific action plan is drawn up to map the route to recovery, detailing milestones and targets.
Wording for the declaration might be:
An Ecological Emergency has been declared by the council in response to the ongoing threat to wildlife and ecosystems. The declaration recognises the essential role nature plays in society and the economy and provides a statement of intent to protect wildlife and habitats, enabling current and future generations to benefit from a green economy and a nature rich environment.
James Hitchcock, Chief Executive of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust said: “In October, China will host the delayed COP15, or more correctly the Convention on Biological Diversity, billed as the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade. At this conference world leaders will pledge to restore nature and work to a target of managing 30% of the land and 30% of the sea for nature by 2030. Currently around 5% of the land in the UK is in good condition for nature.
“We need these changes here in Wales. To make them we need a much better recognition and understanding of just how important nature is to our future lives and the longer-term prosperity of our communities. We need to move from minimal box-ticking to a genuine determination to put biodiversity at the centre of decision-making and action by authorities and administrators at every level.
“We need a declaration at a local level, to cover the local decisions and help set putting nature in to recovery at the heart of all decision making across Powys.
“We are pleased that Powys County Council declared a Climate Emergency in September 2019 and subsequently appointed a Climate Change Officer, but we cannot tackle climate change in isolation to the nature crisis.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here: Ecological Emergency in Powys? | Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (rwtwales.org)
The organisations are encouraging people to write to their local Councillor to show their support.
Notes to Editor:
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust is a registered charity, part of the federation of 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the UK to protect and restore nature, inspiring people to connect and take action for wildlife. We have over 1000 members and currently manage 18 nature reserves covering over 400Ha of land.
For further information please contact James Hitchcock on 07949 828589
Links *Powys Nature Partnership Powys Nature Partnership - Powys County Council