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Long-term nature strategy due out later this week

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A NEW long-term nature management strategy is being published later this week to replace the biodiversity strategy.

Bee orchids are blooming at St Germain nature reserve for the first time since it was opened to the public in 2006. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28415335)

That five-year strategy was agreed in December 2015, at a cost of £80,000 a year. That included the funding for a biodiversity education officer.

No details of how much the new plan could cost have yet been released.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said there has been increased interest in climate change and nature loss since the last strategy was agreed.

‘The 2020 Strategy for Nature is the redesigned biodiversity strategy for Guernsey,’ he said.

‘Nature conservation can no longer be an afterthought to decision-making, or operate in its own bubble. Instead, biodiversity needs to be mainstream, meaning that nature management needs to be integrated into all sectors and across sectors.’

Evidence shows that nature is declining faster than at any time in human history, with a 60% decline in wildlife populations over the last 40 years alone and current extinction rates at 100 to 1,000 times higher than average over the past several million years.

Locally, periodic habitat surveys have shown that Guernsey’s species and habitats are also in decline due to climate change and other human-made pressures.

The new strategy incorporates a framework of high-level objectives that encompass the latest advances in main-streaming biodiversity and horizon scanning for pressures on nature, through increasing community awareness of nature and its health and wellbeing benefits.

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‘Placing the Strategy for Nature, sustainable development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation at the heart of the Revive & Thrive recovery strategy shall help build a resilient economy for the future,’ Deputy Brehaut said.

A summary of the plan is available to view at www.gov.gg/biodiversitystrategy.

The full report should be published later this week.

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