By Fran Southgate
Living Landscape Advisor
At the end of October, we saw a huge victory for people power and its influence in Parliament. Thanks to the support of over 100,000 people who signed a petition, Rewilding Britain were able to secure a parliamentary debate, and a unanimous vote, that restoring nature on a massive scale to help stop climate breakdown is a priority.
The debate touched on multiple issues including seagrass and kelp forest regeneration, and the need for nature-friendly farming to accompany rewilding. It also recognised that Rewilding is not a silver bullet for halting ecological and climate breakdown but that is can play a vital role in the changes that we need to make. The importance of joined up action was also highlighted, so that we are not restoring forests and peatland with one hand while destroying them with the other. And there was an overall recognition that while individual actions are important, systemic change is needed, and nature recovery needs to happen at scale, with long-term financial commitments.
During the debate, Zac Goldsmith MP said the government will double its spending in tackling climate change in the period 2021-2026, much of which will focus on natural climate solutions. The broad agreement within parliament prompted one politician to quip that: “He was slightly alarmed at the unanimity that is breaking out in the Chamber.”
Alastair Driver is Rewilding Britain’s Director, who took the petition to Parliament. He has campaigned hard for Rewilding to be included in climate proofing our landscapes and in the creation of Nature Recovery Networks. Alastair will be a keynote speaker at Sussex Wildlife Trusts Landscape Innovation Conference at Sussex University on January 23rd 2020, where we hope to inspire positive action for climate change at a landscape scale.
If you want to know more, you can watch a video recording of the debate here.