Martha Wardrop column: Urgent action needed to reverse the loss of nature

Martha Wardrop column: Urgent action needed to reverse the loss of nature

Updated: 3 months, 8 days, 5 hours, 41 minutes, 47 seconds ago

Biodiversity loss is increasing.

This is due to change of land use, the impact of climate change, pollution, invasive species, and the exploitation of natural resources.

 Scotland has one of the most degraded natural environments in the world.

World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2022 revealed that global wildlife populations have shrunk by 70% in the last 50 years. Scottish wildlife populations have fallen by 24% since 1994.

This comprehensive report highlights that we are in the midst of a biodiversity and climate crisis.

Scottish Green councillors are supporting investment in nature restoration, including native woodland planting and regeneration, restoring our peatlands, and creating new wildflower meadows. Scottish Greens in Government are working on the solutions to the nature crisis. There is commitment to the transformational change that is needed to restore our natural environment.

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater MSP has announced a new £2.9m package of funding measures to accelerate Scotland’s response to the nature emergency.  This provides support for ambitious plans to restore Scotland’s under threat Atlantic rainforests and the expansion of nature networks.

More support is available for local communities across Scotland to create and restore woodlands and wetlands. Specific resources are available to help restoration projects all over the country including the Clyde Climate Forest in Greater Glasgow.

There are local community rewilding projects providing opportunities for people to connect to nature. They offer opportunities to get outdoors, to explore, and appreciate the natural environment all around Glasgow.

Through practical work, people are planting trees and improving greenspaces such as public parks, school grounds, vacant land and community gardens. Local groups have created community orchards for learning, sharing food and relaxing. Many people are able to benefit from the harvesting of apples, pears, plums, and damsons.

Restoring natural processes can help combat many issues we are currently facing such as increased risk of flooding, poor air quality and pollution. Through involvement in nature, people can benefit from access to healthy, sustainable communities and also improved quality of life and quality of space.

There is potential for communities across Glasgow to support a positive change in our local environment. By avoiding artificial turf and pesticides we can all do our bit to secure a future where wildlife and people can thrive. More roadside verges can be converted to wildflower meadows. Pollinator-friendly plants can be grown in any available pocket of green space, regardless of how small it is.

Local housing projects can support biodiversity more centrally in their design. This can help to increase the numbers of birds, hedgehogs, butterflies, and bees. Reconnecting with nature is a self-sustaining process as we become more educated and develop a stronger connection and a sense of stewardship to the natural world around us.  

Our city’s future is critically dependent on biodiversity and a stable climate.

We have to take urgent action if we are to reverse the loss of nature.

There is a role to play for all of us in building a better future for our wildlife, our climate and our planet.