Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth – from the smallest insect to the largest tree, and the natural systems that support them. Biodiversity is vital for our quality of life, from the sight and sound of a bird in the garden, to a life-saving drug from a plant. It is important for its own sake and because it provides benefits to society (known as ecosystem services).
These benefits include:
Supply services such as food, timber, and water
Regulation services such as air quality, climate regulation and pollination
Cultural services such as recreation, health, and well-being
Support services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling
Ultimately, biodiversity acts as the life-support system for the planet and is essential for our survival.
For this life-support system to work well, its parts need to be healthy and function resiliently. Unfortunately, we know that biodiversity is still declining. Globally, an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction due to climate change, deforestation, urbanisation, pollution, agricultural land management and invasive species.
- Halt the decline in species abundance by 2030, and then increase abundance by at least 10% to exceed 2022 levels by 2042.
- Restore or create more than 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat by 2042 and protect 30% of our land and ocean by 2030.
- New interim target to restore or create 140,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitats outside protected sites by 2028, compared to 2022 levels.
- Improve the Red List Index for England for species extinction by 2042 compared to 2022 levels.
- New interim targets for all sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) to have an up-to-date condition assessment; and for 50% of SSSIs to have actions on track to achieve favourable condition by 31 January 2028.
- Increase tree canopy and woodland cover from 14.5% to 16.5% of total land area in England by 2050, with a new interim target to increase this by 0.26% (equivalent to 34,000 hectares) by 31 January 2028.
- For 70% of designated features in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to be in favourable condition by 2042 with the remainder in recovering condition, with a new interim target of 48% of designated features to be in favourable condition by 31 January 2028.
As part of the City of Doncaster’s climate and biodiversity emergency declaration, the Council are encouraging all of its public institutions, businesses and communities to consider pledges they can deliver to make a positive contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation and the recovery of biodiversity.
To recover biodiversity we need MORE, BIGGER, BETTER and JOINED-UP nature.
We will do this through the development and implementation of South Yorkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
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