WWT calls for wetlands to be at heart of reaching “nature positive” by 2030

WWT has welcomed the Nature Positive 2030 report produced by the five UK statutory nature agencies stressing that ambitions for nature recovery should be put on the same footing as those for climate change.

We welcome the report’s emphasis on treating the crisis in nature as seriously as the climate change emergency. Wetlands are ideal natural habitats to help tackle both, storing more carbon, more quickly, than all the world’s forests combined and reverse the decline in nature by removing pollutants from water to bring life back to our waterways. Healthy wetlands are the most biodiverse habitats on earth, supporting 40% of our world’s species despite only covering 6% of the earth’s surface.

The report went on to say that greater action, investment and embracing natural solutions are crucial to reversing biodiversity decline by 2030 – we agree and wetlands are one of the key natural solutions the government, business, and society should embrace to help reverse this decline.

The report also highlighted that achieving international and national nature commitments already made, like the leaders’ pledge made at the 2020 UN Summit on Biodiversity to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and the 30by30 initiative to protect 30% of UK land for nature by 2030, will deliver huge benefits to human health, well-being and our economy.

Tom Fewins, WWT’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, said the Nature Positive 2030 report highlighted the promises made by the UK Government at the UN last year when it endorsed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. But, he added, in the year since our natural life system has continued to decline.

The Government needs to start acting and investing now in a wide range of natural solutions including wetlands to reverse this decline and meet its 30by30 target,

A good place to start is to back WWT’s Blue Recovery proposal’s calling for the creation of 100,000ha of healthy wetlands across the country to help fight both the climate, and nature crisis highlighted by the report.

Let’s make the next year the year we, together with government, put in place the information, plans and policies to make a blue recovery – and a nature positive Britain - happen.

In an interview on Times Radio about the report, Natural England chair Tony Juniper said there were efforts to move forward a strategy that was not only about the recovery of nature, but also about making our society more resilient in the face of climate change to help people and nature thrive. He suggested actions such as the restoration of floodplains and peatlands were good examples of this.

WWT wholeheartedly supports this suggestion and is already leading the way in this area with projects like our Flourishing Floodplains project to restore threatened floodplains across a 6,400ha landscape in the Severn & Avon Vales, helping to increase biodiversity, and combat effects of climate change such as flooding.