Given that area-based conservation on land and at sea will be a critical component of the UK’s efforts towards addressing the connected climate and ecological crises, the British Ecological Society (BES) has published a report “Protected Areas and Nature Recovery”.
This policy report provides an overview of the available ecological evidence on this topic, synthesised in response to the UK government’s policy to protect 30% of all four nations’ land and seas for nature by 2030 (“30 x 30”).
This report recommends that transformative changes in thinking and policy are necessary for the UK to attain 30% coverage of effective area-based conservation designations by 2030, with findings echoing those published previously by others (eg, the “Making Space for Nature: A review of England’s Wildlife Sites and Ecological Network” report, published in 2010).
The current portfolio of Protected Areas (PAs) on land and in the seas across all four UK-nations is extremely valuable for nature, providing substantial opportunities to protect the UK’s biodiversity and contribute to the recovery of nature. Still greater ecological and societal benefits can be achieved through improved management and monitoring and reconfiguring PAs and the spaces between them as a connected network.
The executive summary of the BES report is available.