We believe a Nature Recovery Network, set in law, could be the solution to the devastating decline in wild places and healthy wildlife populations happening today.
Our aim is to put space for nature at the heart of our farming and planning systems; to bring nature into the places where most people live their daily lives. Read more on our blog.
Locally, Nature Recovery Maps should be produced to inform future planning - turning nature’s recovery from an aspiration to a reality.
As part of nature’s recovery, we would also like to see the following included in the Environment Strategy:
- Farming subsidies should provide an incentive for farmers to farm in a way that helps protect the environment and support the objectives of the Strategy.
- Truly sustainable fisheries regulations to ensure recovery of our wild fish populations.
- Embed a ‘biodiversity net gain’ principle for housing and infrastructure developments – putting in place planning policies that make it mandatory for new developments to leave biodiversity in a better state than before.
- Take action on the climate crisis – we need plans to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy particularly by investing in nature-based solutions including a significant increase in native tree planting and peatland restoration.
- Include environmental awareness as part of the school’s curriculum and provide funding to make it easier for schools to take pupils on regular trips to natural spaces.
- Commitment to an independent 'watchdog' body for Northern Ireland to scrutinise government progress, and sufficient resources and funding to implement the plan fully.
Overall, the six proposed outcomes are a step in the right direction but need to be underpinned by measurable, binding targets. We want to see biodiversity loss not only halted but reversed, with wide-scale recovery of nature evidenced by 2030.