Nature2020, a year-long celebration of biodiversity in the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere marking the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, launched in style on Friday.
The day started with an early morning bird watch at Woods Mill, headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, followed by a Healthwalk along the Undercliff walk, observing bird and plant species that make their home on the chalk cliffs and reef, a site of special scientific interest.
The day was rounded off by a special launch event on the ONCA Community Barge at Brighton Marina, opened by the Deputy Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Alan Robins, and featuring speeches by local MPs Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle.
This year marks the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, and is an opportunity to reflect on the state of wildlife and conservation both globally and locally. The Nature2020 programme aims to raise awareness of - and connect people to - the environment we live and work in.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion said: “Our natural world is in crisis - and the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Nature and wildlife needs to be made a much higher priority in policy making at all levels but, in the meantime, local leadership is playing a vital role in protecting and restoring nature and biodiversity. That's why I was so pleased to be invited to launch Nature2020 which aims to champion nature locally by bringing together so many brilliant organisations from across Sussex. "I have real faith in this kind of local action and its power to not only shape national policy making and political debate, but to provide inspiration and to nourish our imaginations with beauty and awe of the natural world. I’m looking forward to hearing more about Nature 2020 and watch it develop over the course of the next year."
Nature2020 events connecting people and nature will be springing up throughout the year and across The Living Coast, Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown said: ‘‘It was fascinating taking part in the Healthwalk from Saltdean along the Undercliff, it’s always great to learn about your local landscape and species. I encourage my constituents to come along to events celebrating the unique habitats and species of our natural environment as part of Nature2020."
Throughout 2020, our local landscape will be coming alive with events celebrating the unique habitats and species of our natural environment as part of Nature2020.
The full calendar, which is being added to on a regular basis, can be found at: www.nature2020.org.uk/whats-on
Sarah Dobson, programme manager for The Living Coast Biosphere said: “UNESCO World Biospheres are designated as global examples of sustainable development, with nature conservation, environmental engagement and education as part of their key purpose. Nature2020 is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to celebrate and learn about our world class environment of Downs, towns and coast, bringing people and nature together to inspire a positive future, today. Together we are The Living Coast.’”
What could you do to help biodiversity in your area in 20 seconds? 20 minutes? 20 hours? 20 days? Make a difference in 2020 and beyond - share your ideas and achievements via the website: www.nature2020.org.uk and on social media: @2020nature & #Nature2020.
A coalition of local environmental organisations has set up Nature2020 to celebrate the richness and significance of the local environment, and actively engage more people in the care and conservation of local nature. Nature 2020 is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council, who are working to address the biodiversity emergency as part of their pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Any organisation or group interested in hosting their own event as part of Nature2020 is welcome to submit their details via the portal on the website (conditions apply).