Friday 10 January 2020

A New Year, A New Decade: the challenge for nature

A few trees cling to the sides of a burn, out of reach of deer. There should be a forest here.

Last year saw a sudden upsurge in concern about the intertwined problems of climate change and wildlife extinction. This is heartening but only if it leads to action. Nature is being depleted rapidly world wide. Here in Britain each State of Nature report shows a steadily worsening situation, one that has been going on for many decades. Something has to be done and we should all be involved.

I've written many pieces on conservation and rewilding over the years (links here). I think I should write more. I'll also continue to support many organisations doing what they can (another list here) and write letters and emails to politicians and businesses. It's not much but if everyone does a little ...

I'm reading Mark Cocker's excellent but rather discouraging Our Place: Can We Save Britain's Wildlife Before It Is Too Late? In it the author tells the story of nature and landscape conservation since it began in the nineteenth century. All those organisations, all those dedicated people, all those government bodies, reports, councils, acts of Parliament. And still nature declines. Was it all for nothing? Surely not, surely, sadly, it would be even worse without all that work. But clearly it was not enough.

The reasons why this is so are complex. But I think in part it lies in duplication, in the plethora of organisations and designations. And also in what Mark Cocker calls the 'great divide' between landscape protection and wildlife conservation. A healthy environment needs both. Simplifying appoaches and goals, working together on big landscape and wildlife projects, involving local people, avoiding mystification. These are all needed. And they are starting to happen. There are great opportunities.

The 2020s are before us. Let's work to make the world a better place for nature, which means a better place for us.

1 comment:

  1. To True Chris. I saw an interesting thought provoking Programme last night on channel 4 by the Enviromental campaigner George Monbiot. It included a positive visit to Glen Feshie. It was called Apocalypse Cow, certainly worth a look.