With urgent action needed to tackle the climate emergency, we need everyone to make their voice heard for our Revive Our World campaign.
Last week saw the launch of the RSPB’s Revive Our World campaign. This is our response to the news that the UK may have met as few as just three of the 20 international targets for the recovery of nature that we agreed to a decade ago. As I blogged at the time, this total failure to tackle the nature crisis is a disaster for wildlife, for the climate, and for people. A thriving natural environment is essential to our lives, and we’ve seen during lockdown just how much the public values nature. Urgent action by decision makers at all levels is needed, and we’re giving you the opportunity to make your voice heard and call for the big changes needed in order to deliver a healthier future for all.
Much of the attention is perhaps unsurprisingly placed on the responsibility of the UK Government in Westminster - and their devolved counterparts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - to put in place the laws and targets that we need to turn nature’s fate around. But today we want to take a moment to recognise the important role that sub-national leaders – our city mayors and local councils – in England have to protect and restore the natural environment at a local level.
This is why we have asked local decision makers across England to add their voices to our campaign. A number of our city mayors and their representatives have contributed to a video (which you can watch below) to highlight how they are helping nature in their regions, and to draw attention to the need for everyone to act if we are to tackle the nature emergency and put England’s wildlife on a route to recovery.
We are also being joined today by local authorities across the country who will be using the Revive Our World campaign to place their role in tackling the nature crisis firmly in the spotlight. Look out for their social media posts using #ReviveOurWorld.
This comes after a United Nations workshop recently produced the Edinburgh declaration, acknowledging the role of local, regional and subnational governments in meeting global biodiversity targets. It’s one week today until our Prime Minister stands up at the UN Biodiversity Summit and delivers a speech in which he declares that the UK is a global leader on the nature and climate crisis. Yet our wildlife is rapidly disappearing, and we need leaders at all levels across the UK to work together to bring it back.
Our local leaders are working to solve the nature crisis, but we all need to do more. With local and mayoral elections in England just around the corner next May, and with the country’s recovery from COVID-19 at the forefront of candidate manifestos, it is vital that people vote with nature in mind to ensure that our economic and environmental recoveries go together side by side for everyone’s benefit.
You can help by making sure that all levels of government know you're watching. Sign the Revive Our World petition today.
Our city mayors and local councils speak out...
Jackie Homan, West Midlands
Transcript: "Hi, my name’s Jackie Homan – I’m head of the Environment at West Midlands Combined Authority. Natural capital is forming a really important part of our climate change plan, WM204, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation. It also forms a really important part of our Green Recovery plans from Covid 19, and one of the pieces of work we’re doing in conjunction with the New Economics Foundation is to explore where there’s currently inequality of access to greenspace across the WM and to see the kinds of plans we might be able to put in place to address that. In particular we’re looking at implementing a programme of community green grants once we have the data and we know where our priorities are for investment. This sits within a wider context of natural capital projects and programmes including West Midlands National Park and an extensive tree planting programme."
Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne
Transcript: "Hiya, I’m Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne Mayor. I’m in Gosforth Nature Reserve, this is a fantastic space right in the heart of Newcastle. We get deer, we get otters, we get a whole range of birds. But we’re facing a nature emergency. People talk of biodiversity loss – let’s call it what it is – it’s an extinction of wildlife. 13% of British wildlife faces extinction, because of climate breakdown. It destroys habitats and disrupts entire ecosystems. Political leaders need to step up. In my first day in office, I declared a climate emergency. Since then we’ve put in 10s of millions into our green new deal. To support new jobs in renewable energy, in clean transport, in making housing more energy efficient. Because that’s got to be our role for the future. We’re supporting getting climate change teachers into schools so that the education about this emergency is widespread. I’d urge you as political leaders, as members of the public – not to wait. Please take whatever action you can."
Shirley Rodrigues, London
Transcript: "Hello my name is Shirley Rodrigues, I’m Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy in London. Most people are aware of the urgent act that is needed to tackle climate change. But not enough are aware of the urgent action that is needed to tackle our nature emergency. That’s why Sadiq Khan, Major of London, has declared a climate and ecological emergency. We’re taking action in London to improve our policies and provide funding to support the protection of wildlife and protecting and opening up access to our greenspaces. A key area is the urban green factor, which requires all new developments to include nature-friendly landscapes, green roofs and more tree planting. It’s absolutely imperative that government works with us, in cities and beyond, to help protect wildlife and ensure that the nature emergency is tackled as soon as possible."
James Palmer, Cambridge and Peterborough
Transcript: "Hello I’m James Palmer, I’m the mayor of Cambridge and Peterborough, and I’m absolutely delighted to be supporting the doubling nature campaign for Cambridge and Peterborough. At the Combined Authority we’ve set up our own climate commission to try and advise us how to deliver the growth that’s necessary for Cambs & P’boro whilst protecting the natural resources we have. This is highly, highly important to me for the policies we have here.
We all know how important it is to protect nature. I’m absolutely determined that through the policies of the Combined Authority, and the information we receive, from the CC and Baroness Brown, that we will do everything we can to protect not just the natural environment, but the environment we’ve all grown to love in our county."
Local Councils as well as tackling climate change need to tacle local issues like vandalism and litter on nature reserves. Encouraging people to respect nature vandalism ruins the green space for the people who enjoy it and litter can cause injury and sometimes death to wildlife.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654