Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are taking action in the face of the crisis facing wildlife with the unveiling of a new Environmental Growth Strategy.
The Local Nature Partnership of environment charities and agencies, along with Cornwall Council, is setting out their long-term vision for how to support nature to regenerate locally.
In a year of new worldwide target setting for climate and nature at global summits it charts a local course for how growing nature can reverse the decline of wildlife, help to drawdown carbon, and defend against flooding.
“We love our environment here in Cornwall and Scilly. But under the surface all is far from well.”, said Lord Robin Teverson, Chair of the Local Nature Partnership.
“Yes, we have been cutting our carbon emissions; but when it comes to nature, our environment is on the retreat. We don’t just have a climate crisis, we have an ecological emergency too.”
From towans to tors, marshland to moorland, and our iconic Chough – nature is interconnected with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s economy, health, identity and heritage.
But none of the global targets for biodiversity loss were met last year, and 41% of species have declined in the UK over the last 50 years – a trend reflected in Cornwall too.
“This Environmental Growth Strategy is not just important, it’s vital. It hard wires nature and the environment into public policy making,” continued Teverson.
“In a year when we have G7 in Cornwall with nature and climate as a major theme, this is our contribution. Wouldn’t it be good to see those heads of government, here in June, follow our lead?”
Councillor Rob Nolan, the Cornwall Council cabinet member who has championed the strategy within Cornwall Council, said: “The last year has shone a spotlight on the volatility of our relationship with nature, but many of us have been able to find sanctuary seeing wildlife in our gardens, parks, coast and countryside.
“And whether it’s wildflowers for pollinators, more trees to fight climate change, or more green spaces in our towns – residents tell us time and again that nature is high on their agenda.
“Alongside projects like our Making Space for Nature or Forest for Cornwall initiatives, our local communities – from citizen scientists to local conservation groups – are taking action. This new vision sets out how we, our partners, businesses and our communities can continue to work together to fight the ecological emergency.”
The new strategy is available online, along with a toolkit on how communities can take action to grow nature at letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/environmentalgrowth