Professor David Hill, CBE is an expert ecologist and the founder of Environment Bank. He has made this statement ahead of COP27 Biodiversity Day (Weds 16 November) and is available for interview.
“Biodiversity has an intrinsic value and part of that is tapping into the potential of natural capital, which involves challenging our understanding of the relationship between economy, society, and the environment.
“It’s also about how we integrate nature into where we live and how we include biodiversity concerns into our agricultural industry, with concepts such as agrobiodiversity. The survival of societies of the future will require this.
“Agricultural intensification and built development have dramatically altered the planet and the tipping point has been reached. Global biodiversity is in a critical state whilst closer to home the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world with a 60% decline in species abundance over the past 50 years.
“The existential threat of biodiversity loss is equal to that of climate change – it is imperative that biodiversity restoration is a key element of our race to Net Zero. They are inextricably linked and these alarming findings merit a transformative response at COP27.
“National governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.
“Environment Bank has launched unique nature-based solutions that provides businesses with a mechanism to buy-into land-based management interventions, guaranteed for a minimum of 30 years through upfront investment.
“Land is restored at scale for nature recovery and the ecosystem service benefits that accrue. And one can go and see where the habitats created and managed are which as a result, transform landscapes into vibrant wildlife habitat that contribute to reversing biodiversity loss, rebuilding ecosystems whilst delivering net zero by locking up carbon.
“The anticipation is that the COP27 conference ends on a hopeful note with Solutions Day, is a vital element at looking at how we can all limit global temperatures to 1.5⁰C if we all put our minds to it, with biodiversity being a key element. One of the key solutions to sort out biodiversity loss is that we sort out nature to positively impact climate change.”
Environment Bank is currently establishing a nationwide network of Habitat Banks across the nation to help restore species of plants and animals and combat the decline in biodiversity and climate change.
These Habitat Banks are helping developers to achieve biodiversity net gain (BNG), as mandated by the Environment Act 2021, so that development and progress can continue while we maintain and add to our natural world.