‘Nature conservation can no longer be an afterthought’
A FRAMEWORK document setting out the island’s long-term nature management strategy has been published.
Strategy for Nature would replace the biodiversity strategy which the States approved in 2015.
The document is an appendix to Environment & Infrastructure’s Mitigate Climate Change Policy & Action which the States is due to debate.
E&I president Deputy Barry Brehaut said there had been increased interest in climate change and nature loss since the current strategy was agreed.
‘Nature conservation can no longer be an afterthought to decision-making, or operate in its own bubble,’ he said.
‘Instead, biodiversity needs to be mainstream, meaning that nature management needs to be integrated into all sectors and across sectors.’
The framework features three goals which are underpinned by nine objectives.
These goals are to connect the island community with nature, care for nature to ensure the diversity and resilience of our nature capital and assets, and to foster and share knowledge about nature.
The document highlights a ‘seismic shift’ in public interest and international government action on climate change in the five years since the biodiversity strategy was approved. In short, nature underpinned our economy, society and environment.
When cared for proactively, our natural assets – e.g. seagrass beds, kelp forests, woodland, grassland, and water courses – provide essential services and benefits such as flood prevention, coastal defence, air and water filtration, soil fertilisation, pollination, and carbon sequestration.
It was important to ensure that the value of Guernsey’s natural capital was visible in decision-making to halt its gradual degradation due to climate change and other human-made pressures.
If this was not managed proactively it could lead to irreversible and costly impacts on the economy, society and the environment.
A healthy natural environment also helped to maintain our stunning scenery which benefited our well-being, boosted tourism, and encouraged high wealth individuals to move to the island.
Overcoming the challenges and threats to Guernsey’s nature was not achievable by one team or committee within the States or conservation organisations alone.
All of Guernsey had to recognise that our natural world was continually changing and there were many ways that we can and must work together to care for it both now and in to the future.
The States through to parishes and individual landowners all had a role to play.
. The document can be viewed in full on the States website, https://gov.gg/strategyfornature.