Friday 26 June 2020
A Strategy for Nature will be published next week by the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, following a review of the biodiversity strategy, which will drive the long-term management of nature in Guernsey.
It has been five years since the last review of the biodiversity strategy for Guernsey and in that time there has seen a seismic shift globally in public interest and international government action on climate change and nature loss. As such now was considered an appropriate time for a redesign of our approach to nature management.
There has been global acknowledgement of the need to increase efforts at all levels of society to improve environmental sustainability performance and to reprioritise the way that the natural environment is valued and managed in decision making.
Deputy Barry Brehaut, President for the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure said,
"The 2020 Strategy for Nature is the redesigned biodiversity strategy for Guernsey. Nature conservation can no longer be an afterthought to decision making, or operate in its own bubble. Instead, biodiversity needs to be mainstream, meaning that nature management needs to be integrated into all sectors and across sectors."
Evidence shows that nature is declining faster than at any time in human history, with a 60% decline in wildlife populations over the last 40 years alone and current extinction rates at 100 to 1,000 times higher than average over the past several million years. Locally, periodic habitat surveys have shown that Guernsey's species and habitats are also in decline due to climate change and other human made pressures.
To put this decline into an economic context, the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Risks Report has ranked biodiversity loss as the third most likely risk to the global economy in the next decade. This risk rating is not surprising considering that 50% of global GDP has been found to be moderately or highly dependent upon nature.
The 2020 Strategy for Nature for Guernsey incorporates a framework of high-level objectives that encompass the latest advances in mainstreaming biodiversity and horizon scanning for pressures on nature, through increasing community awareness of nature and its health and wellbeing benefits.
The more Guernsey supports and protects nature, the more we can ensure a healthy and resilient natural environment and sustainable economy, society and environment for future generations.
As the Island starts to rebuild the economy post-COVID-19, the threat to our environment, society and economy from climate change and nature loss remains unchanged.
Deputy Brehaut concluded that,
"Placing the Strategy for Nature, sustainable development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation at the heart of the Revive & Thrive Recovery Strategy shall help build a resilient economy for the future."
A summary report for the 2020 Strategy for Nature can be read at www.gov.gg/strategyfornature.