Today is a big day.
I shall be in London for the Conference for Nature which we have organised, with a range of organisations including the Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation and Buglife.
Our State of Nature report published in May 2013 showed that 60% of species (for which we have adequate data) have declined in my lifetime.
Image from Eleanor Bentnall (in part a celebration of yesterday's announcement about Thames Estuary Airport being kicked in to touch)
At the time, we challenged all sectors of society to do more for nature. We wanted...
...politicians that have repeatedly committed to recovering threatened wildlife populations to think about the natural world when they make big decisions about where to cut and where to invest
...developers to respect and protect the special places that people love
...landowners to manage their land with wildlife in mind
...businesses to find ways to make a profit without trashing the environment
...all of us to do our bit by taking action for wildlife in our gardens and in our communities.
After an opening address from Sir David Attenborough, we'll hear from representatives from business and civil society about the game-changing interventions they are making to help protect and conserve wildlife. We'll explore how politicians can make it easier for more people to do the right thing. And, we'll hear from each of the parties (including the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg) about their plans to drive nature's recovery.
I hope to be surprised, challenged and inspired.
Tomorrow, I'll let you know what happened.
Good luck today Martin
Part of the challenge is also gaining more data on the remaining 95% of species for which we have limited data. This involves much more co-operation and trust between parties (talking non-political here) with less about judging each other or laying claim as to whom is best at looking after nature.
Developers provide houses in which we find warm rooms to live and from which we then complain that developers are trashing the environment. We jump at farmers cutting back hedges as we massacre our lawns every Sunday. We bash agro-chemical companies as we tuck into affordable grub. We shout at gamekeepers culling crows as our cats consume songbirds. We waste tons of food while wondering where the skylarks are in the fields.
Raise the ante with us, your members, as to our giving money but not adapting our lifestyles. I hope that we can all challenge ourselves to lay claim to changing our ways by more than 5% to help 95% of nature.
ps enjoy my Countryfile Mag Opinion out this week on some of this
Having heard George Eustace MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment) saying on Radio 4's Today Programme that he had not read the State of Nature Report and that there was only a 20% decline in species, you may have to overcome ignorance before you can get meaningful action.
I also hope you'll be surprised, inspired and challenged - my fingers are tightly crossed for you and for all of the birds and wildlife we care so much about.
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