Moorland at Redmires near Sheffield © Flotsom / Envato Elements

COP15: a focus on the perilous state of our natural world.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust urges South Yorkshire MPs to back ambitious global nature recovery targets as COP15 gets underway

The most important global summit for nature in decades – the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, also known as COP15 – has started in Canada. What happens there will directly affect our wildlife here in South Yorkshire.  

COP15 comes at a time when the latest study suggests the abundance of Earth’s wildlife has plummeted by almost 70% in the last 50 years. The state of nature in South Yorkshire is not much better. Recent Government actions threaten to make a bad situation even worse and this will mean red faces on the world stage at COP15 and diminish the UK’s power to negotiate.

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world

In South Yorkshire wildlife has suffered over recent decades because of intensive farming, river pollution and poorly planned development to poor moorland management. Worryingly, the Government’s Retained EU Law Bill threatens to remove vital wildlife protections. The targets they propose to set for nature’s recovery are not ambitious enough.

Roy Mosley, Head of Conservation and Land Management at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust explains:

We want to see the UK Government take the following action:

  •            Set ambitious targets to restore the abundance of nature at home
  •            Help set ambitious global targets to halt and reverse catastrophic declines in habitat and wildlife by 2030 at COP15
  •           Scrap the Retained EU Law Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, because it threatens the laws which protect wild places and species across the UK

Please see our COP15 briefing note here. COP15 runs from 7th to 19th December. Do get in touch if you’d like to speak to one of our experts. Find out more about the state of nature in Sheffield and Rotherham here.

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust has declared an ambition to help the UK reach the 30 by 30 goal.

This goal would mean that at least 30% of nature is in recovery by 2030.

The latest data shows that only 4.3% of nature in Sheffield is in good condition. In Rotherham the figure is even lower at 3.1%.

 We have several projects working to change this bleak picture. The Sheffield Lakeland Landscape partnership is working with local farmers to increase wildlife. Nature-based solutions including natural flood management are demonstrating effective flood-reduction throughout the Limb Brook valley. The South Yorkshire Woodland partnership is working to increase the number of trees and woodlands planted in the region .