“The new report highlights what many biodiversity experts have known for years in terms of biodiversity loss.”
“I don’t believe we should set a ’safe’ limit for biodiversity – the figure should always be 100%, otherwise we will see death by a thousand cuts as Governments, society and individuals think it is OK to exploit nature to a certain level.”
“And there will always be a problem of shifting baselines. Terms are used such as ‘creeping normalcy’, where we don’t see the year-to-year erosion of biodiversity because it happens relatively slowly. Then we realise looking back over the past five decades that we have lost over 60% of biodiversity in the UK alone.”
“And ‘landscape amnesia’, where people don’t have a corporate memory for how things used to look from a landscape perspective. Sadly, all young UK ecologists are used to working in already degraded environments when they undertake ecological impact assessments because we have lost so much over the decades.”
“I do believe there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through The Environment Bill, currently passing through parliament, to affect large scale change through mandating biodiversity net gain (BNG), creating Habitat Banks across the UK that seek to restore and recover biodiverse habitats and species. If we act now in making BNG mandatory by law, we can immediately deliver nature restoration and recovery.”
“This is a major and immediate opportunity to get private investment into the natural environment in order to start the process of averting the existential threat from biodiversity loss and all Governments should be following the lead set by ours to mandate that all development should be nature positive.”
David is chairman and founding owner of The Environment Bank Ltd which he set up in 2006 to introduce the concept of compensation, via biodiversity offsetting and habitat banking, into the UK because of his concerns at the way biodiversity was treated within the planning and development sector.
David’s concept of biodiversity compensation, ensuring developments provide net gains to biodiversity, has been embedded in the government’s 25-year Environment Plan and National Planning Policy Framework and is being mandated through the enactment of the Environment Bill in autumn 2021 such that biodiversity net gain will be a requirement on all development’.