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Twenty-five thousand jobs could be created through government investment in a green recovery - Wildlife and Countryside Link

Investment in nature recovery could provide a major boost in employment in England and help create a more resilient economy as part of a green economic recovery from Covid-19 according to new figures put together by conservation groups. In addition, it would also help Government and society tackle the nature and climate crises.

A list of 330 projects that are ‘ready to go’ - including a mix of well-tested and innovative approaches, from micro forests to huge coastal realignment schemes - has been put together by Wildlife and Countryside Link to showcase the scale of opportunities available for England through a green recovery. In the short term, these projects could support around 5,000 jobs in the environment sector and 5,000 jobs in delivery, plus supply chain benefits.

Additionally, if the government delivers on its ambition in the 25-year plan for the environment of half a million hectares of restored habitat, this could mean a further 15,000 jobs in other similar projects. The scalability of many of the projects mean that they can be replicated in multiple locations to fit local needs.

Richard Benwell, Chief Executive of Wildlife and Countryside Link said, “Investing in nature can provide a short-term boost with thousands of jobs, and it can provide long-term, cost-effective protection against costly risks like flooding, soil degradation, and climate change. Helping the poorest, most nature-deprived communities first can help improve people’s way of life at the same time as helping wildlife. This is the Chancellor’s chance to grow back better by including funding for these projects in July’s budget announcement.”

Not only would these projects deliver much needed jobs in a post-Covid world, they would also provide a significant boost towards Government nature and climate targets by -

  • Creating or enhancing at least 200,000ha of priority habitat, including woodland, scrub, heaths, bogland, peatland, grassland, hedgerows, marshes, wetlands, streams, rivers, marine and coastal habitats. This would deliver two fifths of the 500,000ha 25-year plan priority habitat target in just a few years.
  • Planting at least 4.5 million trees, helping to meet UK targets to plant 30,000 new hectares of woodland every year, and capturing around 3 million tonnes of CO2
  • Storing a minimum of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year initially, rising significantly over time. Early investment in these nature-based climate solutions is essential to delivering the carbon capture levels of matured habitats and trees to meet the Government 2050 net zero targets.
  • Giving a lifeline to hundreds of threatened UK plant, animal and fungi species. From seahorses to hedgehogs, to bats and rare birds. Vulnerable and declining habitats would also be restored.

Read today's feature article by Ian Dunn, Plantlife Chief Executive: Why saving and protecting wild flower meadows can help deliver a green recovery

CJS is supporting a new #NationalNatureService -

Pledge your support for a National Nature Service to provide paid work for people to restore nature, and to help develop the skills and knowledge we need to create a healthier, greener economy. Show you support and sign the pledge here.

On Tuesday:

Government announces £40 million green jobs challenge fund - defra

A fund of up to £40 million will create jobs in nature recovery and conservation.

Plans to create thousands of new jobs to kick-start the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic were unveiled by the government today.

The £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund will bring forward funding to help charities and environmental organisations start work on projects across England to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help conservation organisations and their suppliers create up to 3,000 jobs and safeguard up to 2,000 others in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with the outdoors.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund will be funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by bringing forward £10 million of money from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30 million of Nature for Climate Funding, so that the money can be spent now when it is most needed. [This is not new money, but previously announced funds made available sooner - Ed]

It is envisaged that the fund will create a broad range of short and long term jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff and education workers in environment organisations; and support their suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

Organisations will be invited to bid to the fund and details will be set out in due course.

On with the rest of today's news:

The RSPB is asking you to share what you’re appreciating in the world around you - RSPB

Have the last few months made you appreciate your local green spaces more? Maybe you’ve noticed the wildlife in your garden or local park for the first time or been inspired to create some wild art or music?

Deer in church graveyard (image: RSPB)
Deer in church graveyard (image: RSPB)

Between 1st and 31st July, the RSPB is inviting people across the UK to share the new things they have noticed that’s different in their world, and what they have started to value more during these unsettling times.

Since the UK first went into lockdown it’s been a unique time for most of us. This spring has been unlike any other and, more than ever, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our wellbeing.

From enjoying the uplifting sound of birdsong through an open window, to getting a welcome dose of fresh air and exercise in a local park, many of us have found solace in nature and had time to notice what’s going on around us.

Adam Murray, Head of Community Empowerment at the RSPB, said: “Connecting with the natural world is more important than ever. Over the last few months, as we juggled work, family life and wellbeing, all from the confines of home, the natural world became a playground, a gym, a tonic, and much more besides. But while our lives have changed, the threats to nature have not gone away. We’d love you to share the new things you have noticed and started to appreciate more in your world – large and small. Whether it’s cleaner air, the wildlife in your local park or getting creative in your support of the natural world, we’d love to hear about it. We want to know what you’ve started to value during these strange times.”

To get involved share your story and photos using #MyWorldNow on social media

£13 million investment for NERC Environmental Omics Facility - NERC

  • New NERC Environmental Omics Facility will support research tackling global challenges such as biodiversity loss and zoonotic infections
  • Facility will be based at the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield

A new state-of-the-art Scientific Support and Facility (S&F) providing environmental researchers across the UK with access to innovative technologies to enable world-leading environmental research is to open later this year.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will provide £13million funding for the facility, which will be based at the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield. Launching on 1 October 2020, the NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF) will be commissioned for five years with an investment of £2million per annum, plus transformational capital funding of £3million. Environmental researchers in the UK will be able to access the full range of omics supporting technology, expertise and training. This includes genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics and metabolomics, based on cutting-edge technology tailored specifically to the needs of environmental studies.

The teams at the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield are currently involved in the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF). They will ensure continuity of service for the environmental omics community during the transition from NBAF to NEOF, as well as introducing new omics capabilities, support and training.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “UK researchers are working tirelessly to advance our understanding of the most pressing environmental challenges we face - from combating climate change, reducing pollution and protecting our biodiversity. This funding will ensure our world-leading environmental researchers can access new state of the art equipment and harness innovative technologies to help protect our planet and work towards net zero by 2050.”



Scientific Publications

O’Brien, M.J., Carbonell, E.P., Losapio, G., Schlüter, P.M. and Schöb, C. (2020), Foundation species promote local adaptation and fine‐scale distribution of herbaceous plants. J Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13461

 

Olaya‐Arenas, P., Scharf, M.E. and Kaplan, I. (2020), Do pollinators prefer pesticide‐free plants? An experimental test with monarchs and milkweeds. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13711

   

Daniel Klich, Rafał Łopucki, Agnieszka Ścibior, Dorota Gołębiowska, Marlena Wojciechowska, Roe deer stress response to a wind farms: Methodological and practical implications, Ecological Indicators, Volume 117, 2020, 106658, ISSN 1470-160X,doi:j.ecolind.2020.106658.





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