Ecological Emergency Strategy Shows the Way

Organisations from across Bristol have come together to create an ambitious vision for a wildlife-rich, ecologically resilient city that works for people and wildlife.

The Strategy sets out the key actions needed to tackle the ecological emergency declared by the city in February, which has seen 68% of the world’s wild mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians worldwide lost since 1970, threatening the natural systems on which people and wildlife depend.

It puts forward solutions that match the urgency and scale of the ecological emergency, with four key goals for the next decade:

  1. Space for nature – at least 30% of land in Bristol 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 50% by 2030. This means challenging their use at all levels and finding alternatives.
  3. Pollution – 100% 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.

The strategy has been developed through the One City Approach, which brings together public, private, voluntary and third sector partners within Bristol, together working to make Bristol a fair, healthy and sustainable city. It builds on successful work to protect nature, but aims to substantially increase the scale and speed of action.

Avon Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Ian Barrett, who led the group that developed the strategy, said:

“It’s not too late to reverse the declines in wildlife that are undermining our planet’s natural life support systems. This strategy represents the second step in a long journey to rebuilding Bristol’s wildlife and habitats, following the ecological emergency declaration in February. Change is needed on every level from how we develop our city, to the choices we all make as individuals. 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.

We are building real momentum to tackle the ecological emergency in Bristol, with fantastic organisations such as Incredible Edible Bristol, City to Sea and the Bristol Green Capital Partnership working alongside the Wildlife Trust, city institutions, businesses and the Council to take the action that is needed on the ground. We know that Bristol is full of people who want to take action for wildlife and working together we can achieve the change we want to see.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, 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. To help spearhead this work at the city council, I have created a new Cabinet Member post for Climate, Ecology and Sustainable Growth with Cllr Afzal Shah taking up the role.”

Read the strategy here. 

Avon Wildlife Trust is also working with the local authorities in Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and the West of England Combined Authority to highlight the ecological emergency and help develop actions to tackle it.

Find out what you can do to tackle the ecological emergency here.