Bristol declares ecological emergency

The city council said there has been a ‘worrying decline’ in numbers and diversity of wildlife

Bristol has become the first major city in the UK to declare an ecological emergency in response to “escalating threats” to wildlife and the ecosystems.

The city council said there has been a “worrying decline” in numbers and diversity of wildlife in the city and more widely in recent years, with 15% of British wildlife now at risk of extinction.

The declaration, which builds on the climate emergency declaration in 2018, was jointly made by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and CEO of Avon Wildlife Trust Ian Barrett.

Mr Rees has asked the One City Environment and Sustainability Board work with the council and other city partners on a plan setting out the actions, with priorities that include looking at ways to stop wildlife habitats from being destroyed and managing land in a sustainable way that.

The council hopes declaring an ecological emergency will kick-start a response from the whole city.

The mayor 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.”

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