Hard on the heels of the news about proposed cuts to the parks and green spaces budget, local conservationists, under the banner of ‘Greener Birmingham’, are calling on everyone in the region to pledge to protect and improve its natural environment. With species and their habits under more pressure than ever before it is time to turn the tide.
Georgia Stokes, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country says: ‘ We would like to encourage individuals, businesses, politicians, community groups – everyone – to pledge to protect the environment recognising that we all have a role to play. Long term a fundamental shift, a different model, is required to secure spaces for people and for nature.’
Greener Birmingham point out that a high quality natural environment is essential to achieving the priorities of the 2020 Vision for Birmingham of a strong economy, with thriving local communities, a healthy, happy population, a great future for young people and where safety and opportunity for all children is delivered by a modern council.
Sarah Royal of Birmingham Open Spaces Forum added: ‘ Friends of park groups donate many thousands of hours of their time every year to improve green spaces for the local communities. They add real value to any investment from the local authority or from other sectors. ’
The pledge highlights some of the ways that nature contributes to the achievement of the vision. Amongst other things it is vital to improving health and wellbeing, flood alleviation, providing cleaner air and water, and making Birmingham more attractive for its people, visitors and businesses.
Those who sign are asked to make three commitments. Firstly, to support the development of a 25-year plan for the environment, recognising the importance of all green spaces in the city and across the West Midlands Combined Authority. Secondly, to secure investment to protect, manage and enhance green spaces and corridors. Thirdly, to actively manage land within their control to enhance benefits to the natural environment.
Signing the pledge is the first step towards the positive action needed in all areas of public life and services. It also acknowledges that alongside economic and social development it is essential that we have environmental development as well.
You can do your bit too, sign the pledge here: http://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/Ipledge