The Scottish Wildlife Trust believes more can be done to help preserve UK biodiversity, after the latest updated figures showing continuing wildlife declines were released yesterday in a report by Defra.
The figures, which monitor the state of UK biodiversity, take into account 36 individually assessed measures, such as condition of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and plant species richness. They paint a mixed picture of the state of biodiversity in the UK.
Although more is being done to protect wildlife, many of the pressures on our environment (such as invasive species or climate change) remain in place or are increasing.
Head of Policy and Planning, Dr Maggie Keegan, said: “These figures show that there are winners and losers when it comes to the strength of UK biodiversity. It’s pretty worrying that species which are given the highest conservation priority are still deteriorating, although the news that bats seem to be doing well is some consolation.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust believes that these indicators should come as a wake-up call as, despite our best efforts to maintain a healthy level of biodiversity, more must be done.
“We have a pretty good understanding of what the causes of these declines are, so it’s a question of making sure we look at the bigger picture, coordinate efforts based on the best science, have the right policies in place and use limited resources wisely to deliver multiple benefits. The Trust would call this an ecosystem-based approach.”
The Trust's Director of Conservation, Jonathan Hughes, said: “These results prove that taking an approach to conservation that ghettoizes nature in small nature reserves will in itself not reverse the declines we are seeing in the UK’s wildlife.
“An ecosystem-based approach is required which allows nature to thrive once again in our farmed landscapes, our seas and coasts, and even in our towns and cities.
“The urgent need to bring nature back into our everyday lives is the principal reason why the Scottish Wildlife Trust is organising the inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital. We need to ensure businesses, landowners and governments work with the conservation movement to better understand the value and importance of protecting the environment on which we all depend economically as well as ecologically.”
The World Forum on Natural Capital is organised by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in association with the United Nations Environment Programme, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, International Union for Conservation of Nature, TEEB for Business Coalition and The Wildlife Trusts.
The event will take place on 21-22 November at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Full details can be found at naturalcapitalforum.com.