The crucial role of biodiversity in tackling climate change was
today highlighted by Barry Gardiner, Biodiversity Minister, at
an international conference at the Royal Society.
Mr Gardiner launched, Biodiversity indicators in your pocket 2007,
a set of 18 indicators which tracks the UK’s progress against
international biodiversity targets. This is the first time that
a comprehensive set of biodiversity indicators has been published
for the UK. A specific indicator has been developed to monitor
how changes in climate, particularly temperature, is influencing
Defra has also published a review of current research into climate
change and biodiversity in England: “England Biodiversity
Strategy: towards adaptation to climate change”. The report
reviews the evidence of climate change on biodiversity in England
and considers options for adapting policies to reduce these impacts.
The evidence in the report on how temperature changes impact on
biodiversity, also supports the findings of the biodiversity indicator
on climate change.
Addressing the audience of leading global academics and policy
officials, at the Biodiversity-Climate Interactions conference.
Mr Gardiner said:
“Many people still talk about climate change as if it is
only a long-term threat. But the fact is that it is already happening,
and we need to deal with the realities of climate change and the
problems it is creating for society and the environment today.
“But biodiversity is also one of our greatest weapons in
the battle against climate change. So it is critical that any action
plan to reduce climate change, includes the effective and sustainable
management of our ecosystems” .
“The biodiversity indicators highlight just how vulnerable
our precious biodiversity is to climate change. Despite long-term
declines in the indicators for many species and habitats such as
farmland birds and butterflies, there are some early signs of recovery
or a slowing of the declines in some areas.”
James Williams, Reporting Standards Manager at the Joint Nature
Conservation Committee (JNCC) said:
“JNCC welcomes the publication of Biodiversity Indicators
in Your Pocket 2007. These indicators are an essential first step
towards measuring the 2010 target.”
Key findings of the Biodiversity Indicators:
- There were very large declines in bird and butterfly populations
in the 1970s and 80s but since 2000 these long term declines
appear to have been arrested.
- Since 2000, there have been improvements
in the extent of protected areas, sustainable fisheries, sustainable
woodland management, biological river quality and expenditure
on both UK and global biodiversity.
- The Spring Index shows that
the mean dates of flowering of hawthorn, horse-chestnut and first
sighting of the orange-tip butterfly were 10-12 days earlier
between 1998-2006 compared with 1900-1947.
SAC Energy Audits Help Reduce On-Farm Carbon Footprint
Environmental Stewardship Schemes - Are You Compliant?
Change one thing on World Environment Day