COP26 Day 6 – Nature and Land Use
Events on Nature and Land-Use will demonstrate how local governments, businesses, Indigenous Peoples, local communities and farmers are driving the transition towards more sustainable management of our land and ocean by protecting and restoring nature and reforming the food and farming system.
It will demonstrate the role that nature can play in supporting countries’ climate plans and it will showcase ground-breaking partnerships to help green the trade in agricultural commodities, reform agricultural policy, take action on ocean health, and deliver sustainable innovation – contributing to a healthier planet and a more prosperous future for people, climate and nature.
The headline event of the Presidential Programme, Facing the Facts, will give world leaders an opportunity to unpack the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Roadmap – an historic collaborative plan to tackle deforestation via sustainable global trade in agricultural commodities. You can view the rest of the Presidency Programme and watch live COP26 events here.
Within the North East region, our universities are undertaking vital research projects on nature based solutions. A series of films has been produced by the five universities, the second of which Nature-based Solutions Initiative goes live today and was contributed to by Durham University’s professor Harriet Bulkeley. You can read more about the quest for nature based solutions in the city and learn about the NATURVATION project in Harriet’s article on the NATURVATION site here.
At Newcastle University, Professor Phil McGowan developed the STAR project, a new metric which, for the first time, allows business, governments and civil society to assess their potential contributions to stemming global species loss, and can be used to calculate national, regional, sector-based, or institution-specific targets. You can read the full article here: STAR – Press Office – Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)
At Northumbria University, Professor Alistair Scott is the leading expert on green infrastructure and it’s importance in planning decisions while Professor Matthew Pound researches the importance of urban and rural bees. This research and focus on biodiversity within urban areas is already being implemented by North East businesses with Thirteen Group providing hives for 200,000 bees and BALTIC also keeping bees on the roof and welcoming Kittiwakes to next each year.
You can read more about the bees at Thirteen Group here. Thirteen Group are also actively encouraging local communities to learn and improve their own environment with their new community wellbeing project in Middlesbrough.
In a bid to be more sustainable, BALTIC has removed salmon from it’s menu and has introduced two climavore dishes. You can read more about Becoming CLIMAVORE in their case study.
Within the VCSE sector of the north east, conservation projects and research is underway to encourage biodiversity and protect nature. Climate Action North works to take direct action on the climate crisis for the benefit of communities and businesses across the North of England. Their Pollinator Parks support the survival of struggling pollinating insect populations, such as butterflies and bees – their first project at the North East Business Innovation Centre saw volunteers planting 300 British native pollinator friendly wildflowers incorporating around 35 different species, on a meadow lawn area and in two flowerbeds behind the BIC’s Jupiter Centre in Sunderland.
Groundwork UK is dedicated to changing places and changing lives. Dr Ashleigh Tinlin-Mackenzie is project officer for the The Wild Oysters Project which is tackling the nature and biodiversity emergency, by restoring native oyster reefs around the UK, including locally in Tyne & Wear.
Native oysters can provide clean coastal waters through their water filtering activity, as well as boosting marine biodiversity by creating unique habitat on the seabed. They also provide food, from the oysters themselves if sustainably harvested, but also by providing nursery grounds to many other commercial fishery species.
In Tyne & Wear, the project has returned over 1300 adult native oysters to local estuaries so far, with big plans for seabed restoration and reef creation in the coastal waters next year.
At NEECCo, we recognise the importance of reversing ecological collapse within our aims of tackling the climate emergency. Our planning group on Land Use benefits from leaders of research and innovation within the North East. We are proud to be supported by North East England Nature Partnership, Groundwork, Climate Action North, Environment Agency and The Rivers Trust amongst many others dedicated to protecting the environment within our region.
How can you get involved?
Find events at your local Wildlife Trust. NEECCo partners, Durham Wildlife Trust are committed to protecting the environment and are holding a number of events to engage communities and nature.
Climate Action North are running Climate Day of Hope virtual events during COP, available to watch on YouTube here.
Visit their website to find out more about their Pollinator Parks and how you could become a Global Wilder with activities focussed on people, places, plants and animals to tackle the climate crisis, restore nature and conserve biodiversity.
In 2022 many organisations and funding opportunities will be available for nature based projects, tree planting, biodiversity, rewilding within urban areas and much more.