COP 27, COP 19, COP 15…what is a “COP” and why are they important?

COP 27, COP 19, COP 15…what is a “COP” and why are they important?

COP 27, COP 19, COP 15...what is a "COP" and why are they important? We have just seen COP27 all over the news, COP 19 ended last week and COP15 is due to take place in December but what is a “COP”? COP standards for Conference of the Parties, which is the governing body of an international convention, for example, climate change. COP is a global conference where world leaders, heads of state, scientists and non-government organisations meet to discuss, review and put the rules of the convention into place. COP 27 COP27 took place from 6 to 20 November in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. It was the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss the action needed to tackle climate change. Prior to the start of the conference, there was controversy when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that he was unable to attend and only 24 out of 193 countries has submitted their plans to the UN prior to the start of the...
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The Great Big Dorset Hedge Project

The Great Big Dorset Hedge Project

Perhaps a happier note compared to some of our more recent blogs…The Dorset Climate Action Network has launched the Great Big Dorset Hedge Campaign in an effort to map, plant and join up sections of hedgerow across Dorset. It is hoped that this will promote biodiversity and encourage wildlife across the county.The long-term project aims to create a network of connected and managed hedgerows as wildlife friendly corridors and refuge areas, with the help of the local communities along the way. By inspiring communities to take part by becoming hedge surveyors, coordinators or planters and providing the relevant training it is hoped that it will bring people closer together as communities and closer to nature. Why are hedgerows so important? Miles of ancient hedgerows have been removed to make way for agriculture and development. Hedgerows are thought of by many ecologists as an ecosystem itself due to the range of biodiversity within. They provide a home for 80% of the UK’s woodland birds, hedgehogs, many species of bats, great crested newt, dormice and butterflies.The re-planting of hedgerows...
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A week of wildlife reports

A week of wildlife reports

Last week two big reports were published by conservation groups Rewilding Europe and BirdLife International. The State of World Bird’s 2022 report sadly warns that nearly half of the world’s bird species are in decline and more than one in eight are at risk of extinction. BirdLife has been studying and documenting birds for 100 years. This is the fifth edition of the report, and it is a really important document, not just for birds but for biodiversity and the planet. The report explains: “It focuses on birds because they are an excellent barometer for planetary health. Being widely distributed, relatively easy to survey, and responsive to environmental change, birds are useful biodiversity indicators, revealing wider trends in natural ecosystems.” As we have seen as a familiar theme with a lot of our recent blogs, we know the reasons behind this decline with many factors caused by human actions. But we are doing very little to stop it and are at a crucial...
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Do protected areas benefit wildlife?

Do protected areas benefit wildlife?

A new study published in the journal Nature suggests that there is room for improvement when it comes to protected areas and their impact on wildlife. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): “A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.” This includes areas such as national parks, nature reserves, wilderness areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty. When you look at the definition of a protected area by the IUCN and as the findings of this study would suggest, it’s not just as simple as selecting an area on the map and calling it a protected area. Especially when research indicates that wildlife populations in protected areas are not necessarily any better off than those in unprotected ones. As reported by the BBC, the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) is taking place in the...
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Biodiversity – the variety of all life on earth

Biodiversity – the variety of all life on earth

More than 40,000 species are threatened with extinction. With this being a worrying statistic in itself, the loss of each individual species is part of the much wider concerns of biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is as crucial for human life as it is for the ecosystem. The variety of plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms in an ecosystem work together to benefit each other and keep the habitat sustainable. Benefits of biodiversity to humans are known as ecosystem services examples of these include: Forests that reduce flood risks Coastline protection from sea level changes Regulation of pollution by wetlands Even something as simple as a walk in the park to ease anxiety The smallest of changes can have large consequences to a species and its ecosystem. There are many causes of biodiversity loss, many worsened by the impacts of the human population. Big steps are needed in sustainable consumption and production and tackling climate change to think about making up for the biodiversity already lost and how to move forwards...
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Emergency use of neonicotinoid pesticide to put bees at risk

Emergency use of neonicotinoid pesticide to put bees at risk

A recent article by BBC News highlights the approval of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam for sugar beet crops in England in 2022. The pesticide is banned from outdoor use in almost all EU countries due to the risk to pollinator populations. The emergency is a risk of viruses spread by aphids which could potentially affect 70% of the national sugar beet crop and has come a relief to farmers. The government advises that the decision has not been made lightly and contingencies have been put into place following the use of the pesticide. However, the potential risk to pollinating insects, soils and rivers has been met with criticism by The Wildlife Trusts and other conservation organisations questioning the government ignoring expert advice.   Do you think the benefits outweigh the potential risks? ...
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