Cormorant looking over London skyline, (c) RSPB (rspb-images.com)
Today's blog is written by Sam Tarrant, Head of Business Conservation Advice at the RSPB.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the ‘Save Our Wild Isles’ event in Westminster. Save Our Wild Isles is a collaboration between the WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust and together, we are asking for an immediate halt to the destruction of UK nature and urgent action for its recovery.
It was great to see representation from the three main political parties in attendance, all of whom spoke about their commitment to protecting nature. However, as the night went on, there appeared to be a lack of urgency given the scale of the challenge. Perhaps it is my political naivety, but it seemed to me the opportunities to collaborate on solutions with business to achieve conservation goals were being missed.
On a more positive note, I was hugely encouraged by the number of senior business leaders who were present. These individuals and organisations were clearly passionate about nature conservation and were eager to learn more about what they could do to help.
Their commitment and desire for a clearly articulated path to Nature Positive was tangible. In my opinion, businesses want to do more for the environment and nature but they require from government supportive policies, a level playing field in which to operate, and long-term stability to enable financial investment decisions. They also need trusted expert advice to guide and support their transition. .
As the RSPB's Head of Business Conservation Advice, I know that businesses have a critical role to play in protecting nature. After all, businesses operate in the natural world and their activities can have a significant impact on the environment. At the last World Economic Forum, six out of the top ten business risks were identified as environment and climate risks – so businesses can and must play a critical role in reversing this trend by supporting conservation efforts and implementing sustainable practices in their operations. They can also use their influence and resources to raise awareness about the importance of nature conservation, and to lobby for policies that protect the environment.
So it’s great to hear that more and more businesses are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact, through reductions in emissions, pollution, and water usage. These are all positive steps, but I think they must do more. They must go beyond simply reducing their environmental impact, and actively contribute to nature conservation by becoming Nature Positive.
We stand at a critical juncture in the history of our planet. The destruction of natural habitats and loss of biodiversity is happening at an alarming rate, and we must take action now if we hope to save the incredible array of plant and animal life that calls the UK home. We cannot wait for governments to answer all our questions and create perfect marketplaces.
And that’s why I’m proud to work for the RSPB. We are 100% committed and ready to help businesses become Nature Positive and save nature in the UK. Through great collaboration and partnerships, we are already making a real difference in the fight to protect our natural heritage and are open to new and innovative partnerships that will help us achieve our mission of preserving the UK's birds and their habitats. This way we can ensure that the UK's natural heritage is protected for future generations, with a more sustainable and prosperous future for all of us.
Together, we can make a difference.
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