Bristol organisations launch city’s first ecological action plan

Organisations across Bristol have joined forces to protect nature around the city – and launched their first ecological action plan.

Following the declaration of an ecological emergency this February – the One City Ecological Emergency Strategy has just been unveiled.

This is a 10-year plan to protect wildlife, ecosystems and habitats in the face of the rapid decline in wildlife locally and globally – and put forward solutions to match the urgency of the situation.

It has been developed through the One City Approach, which brings together partners across all sectors working to make Bristol a “fair, healthy and sustainable city”.

The new strategy covers four key areas:

  1. Space for nature – at least a third of land in Bristol is to be managed for the benefit of wildlife by 2030. This means finding new spaces for nature to thrive throughout the city’s urban landscape.
  2. Pesticides – reduce the use of pesticides in Bristol by at least half by 2030. This means challenging their use at all levels and finding alternatives.
  3. Pollution – 100 per cent of Bristol’s waterways to have water quality that supports healthy wildlife by 2030. This means reducing pollution contaminating water.
  4. Our wider footprint – people and businesses to reduce consumption of products that undermine the health of wildlife and ecosystems around the world. This means finding ways to help everyone better understand the impact of their actions.

Progress has already been made in Bristol through working with organisations, campaign groups and businesses.

This includes linking different generations with nature through the MyWildCity project, which focuses on eight wildlife areas in Bristol, including the Northern Slopes in Knowle West and Hengrove Mounds.

The Northern Slopes. Image Northern Slopes Initiative.

Other work includes doubling the city’s tree canopy through Replant Bristol, and building on Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Our Future – a vision for a more environmentally sustainable city.

The West of England Nature Partnership is also working on a regional ‘Nature Recovery Network’ which supports biodiversity – as part of a national initiative.

Bristol City Council created a new Cabinet Member post for Climate, Ecology and Sustainable Growth this month (September) to help lead the work – with Cllr Afzal Shah taking up the role.

New Cabinet member for Climate, Ecology and Sustainable Growth, Cllr Afzal Shah who was appointed this month.

Chief Executive of Avon Wildlife Trust and Chair of the One City Ecological Emergency Strategy Ian Barrett, working group, said:

“It’s not too late to reverse the declines in wildlife that are undermining our planet’s natural life support systems.

“We know the changes that are needed to restore wildlife and ecosystems and, where they’re in place, they’re working.

“Over the next ten years, we need to put these changes in place in Bristol and surrounding areas to ensure that people and wildlife can survive and thrive.”

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, added: “This is our city’s opportunity to come together and take positive action for nature, whilst tackling some of our biggest challenges.

“We urge everyone in Bristol to reflect on how they can get involved so we can all feel the benefits of protecting our much-loved wildlife and natural spaces.

“We need to do things differently now to see real changes and it’s vital our actions are fair, just and inclusive…”

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