A healthy, biodiverse environment is critical for our future, yet, as the UN has warned, the decline in the natural environment is acute and an ecological crisis is unfolding. It is not just rainforests but nature closer to home too. The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. More than one in seven native species faces extinction and more than 40% are now in decline.
Nature must be restored while biodiversity can be enhanced in every community. As pandemic highlighted too, access to nature brings wider benefits such as to mental health and wellbeing. As local champions, councillors have a strong voice to encourage more biodiversity and rewilding in their wards and to work with councils and other organisations to make it happen.
Next month local elections take place in many areas across the country. SERA: Labour’s Environment Campaign, is supporting and highlighting Labour councillors and candidates are backing nature restoration, biodiversity and rewilding in their wards.
SERA has worked with Panny Antoniou, a Labour candidate in Highgate, Camden to draw up this pledge.
Labour rewilding and biodiversity pledge
If elected I pledge to encourage greater biodiversity and support rewilding in my ward which could include the following:
- Seek to protect and preserve existing areas of nature
- Encourage the planting of more trees and plants
- Seek to create more nature supporting green and blue spaces and enhance the biodiversity of existing nature spaces
- Increase the number of carbon sinks through new planting
- Support the introduction of nature recovery networks which improve the environment for living creatures with a focus on pollinators and keystone species
- Look into the feasibility of the reintroduction of species into areas where they were once present including local extinct bee species and beavers and pine martins where suitable
- End the use of pesticides and peat in municipal planting
- Improve access to nature for all residents and address inequality of access
To back the pledge, a candidate or councillor can do a social media post giving support and with a photo, for example in a local green or blue space in their ward which is an example of rewilding or a space that could benefit. Use the hashtag: #LabRewild and include the SERA Twitter handle @serauk
Here's a sample text:
I'm supporting the Labour biodiversity and re wilding pledge in insert ward and council election.
You can read more about the pledge here: https://www.sera.org.uk/labour_rewilding_pledge