Councils: Declare a Nature Emergency

The global emergencies

We are facing two inseparably linked crises, the climate and nature emergency. We cannot solve one crisis without tackling the other – nature’s recovery is vital for tackling climate change, while the climate crisis increasingly impacts wildlife locally and globally. Nature fundamentally underpins a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy society.  

We need to turn things around for nature and climate through strong and bold leadership from our political representatives. During COP26, countries will be coming together to discuss global action on climate change. We need systemic action at every level of government, from international treaties to the local councils you can influence directly.  

Councils have an enormous impact in your local community and could act to put local nature in recovery. They decide what will be built and where, how to improve access to green spaces and create more space for nature. We know the changes that are needed to restore wildlife – and where they’re in place, they’re working. 

This is why we are calling on councils across the two counties to recognise the nature emergency, alongside the climate emergency, and take immediate action to reverse the declines in wildlife.  

 

Act now and demand that your council declares a nature emergency

It is time for political recognition and action. COP26 is an opportunity to push decision-makers to take urgent action to restore nature locally.  

We need your help to make them listen! Use our tool to ask your council to declare a Nature Emergency and takes urgent action to restore nature locally. 

At the end of COP26, we will send the councils all of your messages demanding that they act to restore nature by declaring a Nature Emergency! 

 

Ask your council to declare a Nature Emergency!

Want to make your voice heard even louder?

Email your councillors today and tell them to support a nature emergency declaration

Councillors represent you and your community. The more people that contact them, the more likely they are to take action on a specific issue.

Below we have an email template that you can send to your councillors demanding them to submit a motion to declare a nature emergency alongside the climate emergency. For the biggest impact, add in your own thoughts and views on why tackling the climate and nature crisis is so important. 

How do I find my councillors’ details?

Write to Them allows you to enter your post code to find out who your local councillors are. You may have up to three councillors who represent your area so why not write to them all? 

You can then copy and personalise our template below into Write to Them, or send a message of your own! 

Use our template to email your councillors

Dear Councillor …..,  

[Insert personal concerns] 

The world is set to exceed 1.5°C warming in the 2030’s and 1 in 7 of British species are at risk of extinction – we are facing connected climate and nature emergencies. We cannot solve one crisis without tackling the other – nature’s recovery is vital for tackling climate change, while the climate crisis increasingly impacts wildlife locally and globally. Nature fundamentally underpins a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy society. 

As my local representative, I would like you to take urgent action to tackle the nature emergency and reverse the declines in local wildlife. I am calling on you to submit a motion to the council to declare a Nature Emergency with the following policy actions: 

  1. Make a public commitment to nature’s recovery by amending our council's Climate Emergency declaration to include the Nature Emergency. 

  1. Commit to embedding nature’s recovery at the heart of all strategic plans, policy areas and decision-making processes.  

  1. Commit to tackling the climate and nature emergencies together and investing in nature-based solutions to climate change.  

  1. Develop and agree on an evidence-based strategy and action plan for nature’s recovery and report on the progress made.  

  1. Set clear strategic goals for nature’s recovery by 2030 

  1. Work with local communities and organisations to achieve the strategic goals, particularly engaging with disadvantaged and underrepresented sections of society. 

For more details, including a full draft motion, please visit: www.hiwwt.org.uk/nature-emergency 

For the sake of future generations, let’s not delay action any longer. 

 

Kind regards, 

Tell others about the nature emergency!

Spread the message and tell your friends and families to take action! We have created some graphics that you can share on social media to show your support - we even have different graphics for each council across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight! You could even tag your council and councillors in your posts!

 

Information for councillors

Are you a councillor or council worker who is interested in working with the Trust to declare a Nature Emergency? For a draft motion and more information and get in touch with our Policy team by emailing: campaigns@hiwwt.org.uk

What are we asking councils to do?

Many local councils have declared a climate emergency, setting concrete net-zero targets and action plans to tackle the crisis. Now, we need councils to declare a Nature Emergency, recognising that we are in a crisis and committing to setting targets for nature’s recovery locally by 2030 and creating a strategy to make that happen.

As part of the Nature Emergency declaration we want councils to pledge to nature’s recovery by:

  • Declare that we are experiencing a nature emergency

  • Commit to embedding nature’s recovery at the heart of all strategic plans, policy areas and decision-making processes.  

  • Commit to tackling the climate and nature emergencies together and investing in nature-based solutions to climate change.  

  • Develop and agree on an evidence-based strategy and action plan for nature’s recovery and report on the progress made. This could be part of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy.  

  • Set clear strategic goals for nature’s recovery by 2030, covering the following areas:  

    • Committing to protect 30% of land for nature by 2030, in line with national and international commitments to biodiversity.  

    • Increasing space for wildlife and long-term maintenance and expansion of a Nature Recovery Network.  

    • Reducing pressure on wildlife.  

    • Improving doorstep access to nature, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  

    • Supporting communities and businesses to make better decisions and take action to support nature’s recovery.  

  • Work with local communities and organisations to achieve the strategic goals, particularly engaging with disadvantaged and underrepresented sections of society. 

We have a full motion available below for councillors who wish to propose a motion to declare a nature emergency.                    

How can councillors get involved?

We have created a motion for councillors to propose at council meetings to declare a nature emergency. 

The Nature Emergency motion for councils

Preamble: 

We are in the middle of a nature crisis. Almost half of all UK wildlife is in long term decline and 15% of species are at risk of extinction. The climate emergency is only hastening this destruction of the natural environment, damaging habitats and disrupting ecosystems. Yet it is these very habitats that have the potential to lock up carbon and fight back against rising global temperatures. It is essential that we not only protect these spaces, but let them thrive – for the benefit of people, planet and nature.   

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta’s review into The Economics of Biodiversity, commissioned by Her Majesty’s Treasury, highlighted that humanity does not exist in isolation from nature but sits within it. Nature is an asset on which all aspects of our society depend and with biodiversity declining faster than at any time in human history, we are undermining the productivity, resilience and adaptability that nature lends our society.   

As we recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the need for nature-rich green spaces where we live and work is clearer than ever and will help health, education and the economy build back stronger. We recognise that action must be taken now to remedy this and to put nature into recovery at a local level, in support of regional, national and international work to do the same. 

This council resolves to:  

1. Declare that we are experiencing a nature emergency, recognising that: 

a) Nature is in long term decline and urgent action must be taken to reverse this.

b) A thriving natural environment underpins a healthy, prosperous society.

c) The nature crisis and the climate emergency are intrinsically linked and that the impacts of the climate crisis drive nature’s decline, while restoring nature can help to tackle the climate crisis.  

2. Commit to embedding nature’s recovery at the heart of all strategic plans, policy areas and decision-making processes.  

3. Commit to tackling the climate and nature emergencies together and investing in nature-based solutions to climate change.  

4. Develop and agree on an evidence-based strategy and action plan for nature’s recovery and report on the progress made. This could be part of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy.  

5. Set clear strategic goals for nature’s recovery by 2030, covering the following areas:  

a) Committing to protect 30% of land for nature by 2030, in line with national and international commitments to biodiversity.  

b) Increasing space for wildlife and long-term maintenance and expansion of a Nature Recovery Network.  

c) Reducing pressure on wildlife.  

d) Improving doorstep access to nature, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  

e) Supporting communities and businesses to make better decisions and take action to support nature’s recovery.  

6. Work with local communities and organisations to achieve the strategic goals, particularly engaging with disadvantaged and underrepresented sections of society.