What do we need our councils to do to help protect nature? The threat is huge and the response needed must be also.
Demand: Manchester City Council and other GM councils must declare an ecological and climate emergency.
What does this mean? Nature and climate must take must higher priority in decision making. The council must consider climate and ecological impact on all planning at all levels.
Demand: The Greater Manchester Strategic Framework (GMSF) consultation must be halted to fully take into account of the UN warning.
What does this mean? Since the GMSF process began the UN issued a report which told us that the loss of nature is an urgent threat to human lives. The latest report constitutes extraordinary enough circumstances/ information that the only responsible reaction is to make sure this consideration is central.
The GMSF proposes building on greenbelt. Recognising the emergency means recognising that greenbelt is a vital resource which must be protected. Greater Manchester councils must adopt a brownfield first policy, as advocated by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Some brownfield sites are valuable for biodiversity – these must be protected.
Demand: Manchester and other GM councils must have a clear strategy for how to make the cities more wildlife friendly, including nature corridoors across the city.
What does this mean? There is work being done on this but it lacks proper urgency or ambition. Achieving a much greater area of varied biodiverse habitats and preservation of habitat needs to be a key aim. Rewilding must take place on a large scale. Established trees and areas of habitat must be recognised and valued as the precious resources that they are, with policies which protect them.
Demand: Greater Manchester councils must drop their support for HS2.
What does this mean? HS2 will devastate around 100 biodiverse rich ancient forests. Planting new trees cannot make up for destroying irreplaceable natural habitat and ecosystems. Research has also shown that the HS2 could draw capital into London, rather than benefitting the north. In 2014 Andy Burnham described it as a “poor deal for most of the region’s taxpayers”
Demand: Greater Manchester councils must implement low-cost immediate policies to help nature.
What does this mean? They use of pesticides must be banned from all public land including from allotments. They should also reduce mowing of public grassy areas and allow wild areas wherever possible.
There is also a need for visible projects which engage the public. We will be putting forward proposals for gardening and gardens for the city, including for permaculture beds in Piccadilly Gardens and for a living gardens bee trail. We need to engage hearts and minds and people need to be able to see visible signs of change in our cities.
Please. Share this page on social media. Email your councillor and include a link.
There will be more proposals to follow on the wider climate emergency and carbon reduction needed.