- The world finally got its once-in-a-decade deal to halt the destruction of nature.
- Many lauded this month’s agreement at Cop15 in Montreal as “historic”
- Many are hopeful that its ambition can be achieved.
But the fact that nearly 200 countries were able to sign off on an international agreement to halt the loss of biodiversity is something to applaud. Few thought it would happen. Now it is all about the implementation.
People and Nature
“We need to change the relationship between people and nature. And if we are honest, time is not on our side,” Andersen said in Montreal. “We’ve backed nature into a corner and it’s time to ease the pressure. We also know it is a remarkable thing and nature is very forgiving. If we give it half a chance, it will bounce back…” Away from Cop15, rewilding came to the fore in 2022, with projects across the globe, from the reintroduction of bison and cluster rewilding in the UK to big ambitions in Argentina, lessons learned in the Netherlands and the US, and the 10th Rewilding Europe project launched.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellie Goulding were two celebrities who expressed their support for the movement during the Age of Extinction’s Wild world project. As we enter 2023, many are gaining inspiration from the past, with an uptick in regenerative farming, the return of ancient crops such as buckwheat and Welsh oats, and the harnessing of ancient irrigation systems.
Target 6 of the new Kunming-Montreal agreement at Cop15 is to “eliminate, minimize, reduce and/or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services”. In Germany, marbled crayfish have invaded lakes and rivers, while snakes threaten the wall lizard in Ibiza and disease is blighting oranges in mainland Spain.
There were also many stories of individual efforts to protect wildlife, including that of the former Weetabix salesman who has made homes for 60,000 swifts in the UK and the “winter keeper” of Yellowstone park who has observed nearly 50 years of climate change impact on his watch. Keen gardeners brought a flavor of the Caribbean to London and a spot of color to the city’s underground stations.
Did you subscribe to our daily Newsletter?
It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe