Bristol first council to declare ecological emergency

Bristol has declared an Ecological Emergency in response to escalating threats to wildlife and ecosystems, having declared a climate emergency in 2018.

There has been a worrying decline in numbers and diversity of wildlife in the city and more widely in recent years, with 15 per cent of British wildlife now at risk of extinction.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees has asked that the One City Environment and Sustainability Board work with the council and other city partners on a plan setting out the actions that the council and partners will take to support and add to the existing initiatives which are already taking place.

Priorities set out by the council are likely to include looking at ways to stop wildlife habitats from being destroyed, managing land in a sustainable way that is sympathetic to wildlife and creating and caring for wildlife-rich spaces in every part of the city and across the region.

Rees said: “It is not too late to start the recovery of our wildlife. We must work together to grasp this last chance and put things right for nature and wildlife in our city. This declaration will provide a focus for the whole city to come together and take positive action. Our commitment to this will extend beyond parks and green spaces. We need our buildings, streets and open spaces to support wildlife and create a more nature friendly city, and we need new developments to do the same.

“This is about how we responsibly build and develop the city so humans don’t threaten wildlife and instead support them to grow alongside us. We can’t solve this issue over-night but if we make sure we consider the ecology when we build each new development, and take major city decisions, then we can start to make major progress. In developing this action plan we will work with our colleagues across the West of England and with government to seek to secure the policies, funding and powers we need to restore nature nationally and locally.”