Humanity nearer than ever to catastrophic biodiversity loss, professional warns

Humanity is nearer than ever to irreversible local weather breakdown 60 years on from the delivery of the trendy environmental motion, the top of the Environment Agency will warn.

In a speech to environmental assume tank Green Alliance in London on Tuesday, the company’s chief government, Sir James Bevan, will say the biodiversity disaster poses an existential risk to human survival.

Sir James is predicted to reference Rachel Carson’s 1962 e book Silent Spring, which catalogued the destruction of entire ecosystems within the US by way of indiscriminate spraying of artificial pesticides.

The work is credited with sparking the present-day inexperienced motion, resulting in a US-wide ban on using DDT and precipitating the founding of the US’s Environmental Safety Company.

Quoting the opening strains of Silent Spring, Sir James will say: “On the mornings that had as soon as throbbed with the daybreak refrain of robins, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of different hen voices there was now no sound; solely silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.”

He’ll add: “Sixty years on we’re nearer than ever to that silent spring occurring.

“Since we people and the whole lot we cherish relies on nature, now we have the strongest potential curiosity in avoiding that end result.”

Sir James will cite Steart Marshes on the Severn Estuary for example of how habitat restoration can profit people (WWT/PA)

The speech will mark the launch of a brand new report by the Surroundings Company setting out the dimensions of the risk confronted by England’s wildlife.

It discovered 41% of native fauna and flora species have decreased in abundance since 1970, with 15% going through extinction.

Among the many mammals, birds, butterflies and moths designated as precedence species, numbers have plunged by 61% over the identical interval.

1 / 4 of England’s mammals are going through extinction, the analysis discovered.

“If that doesn’t make you indignant, you haven’t been paying consideration,” Sir James will say.

He’ll set out the hyperlink between a thriving pure surroundings and the clear water, good soil, flood administration and carbon storage elementary to human survival.

“The biodiversity disaster is a disaster as a result of it gained’t simply kill the vegetation and animals it’s killing, it should kill us too,” Sir James is predicted to say.

He’ll add: “That’s as a result of nature is indivisible and interdependent – nature gives us with a number of issues we rely upon, corresponding to clear water, clear air and meals.”

Sir James may even emphasise the problem a warming local weather poses to conservation, such because the harm algal blooms attributable to hotter waters do to wildlife.

However he’ll say that England, and the world as an entire, nonetheless has an opportunity to show the scenario round, citing profitable Surroundings Company-led initiatives to revive pure habitats.

He’ll use the instance of Steart Marshes on the Severn Estuary – the UK’s largest coastal realignment scheme, which protects 100,000 close by properties from flooding.

It has additionally created 250 hectares of recent habitat for marshland species.

The Surroundings Company created or restored over 1,100 hectares of habitat in 2021-2022, Sir James will say.

The place local weather change-induced issues corresponding to flooding come up in England, he’ll urge the Government, enterprise and the general public to undertake nature-based options because the default strategy to fixing them.

Sir James may even name on the worldwide group to agree harder objectives for the following decade to reverse nature loss on the UN Biodiversity Convention, referred to as Cop15, in Montreal, Canada, later this yr.

The examine Working with Nature – Chief Scientists Group Report might be by revealed on Tuesday on the Surroundings Company web page of the Authorities’s web site.



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