Firstly, as I finish my second month at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust let me wish you a Happy New Super Year for Nature! It’s a privilege to be leading the Trust at such a pivotal time. By the end of 2020 new international targets to tackle the ecological and climate emergency will have been agreed, and the next decade will be shaped by nature’s recovery.
We need to make sure that the UK’s ambition and delivery is up to scratch, but it has started off well with Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirming the Government’s commitment from its manifesto in his first speech that we will have “the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth”.
This makes the next year critical in tackling the emergency before us, and to make sure we are on track for a wilder future. Central to this will be the international agreement reached to tackle the emergency and create 2030 targets, and also our own UK approach in particular influenced by the Environment Bill and Agriculture Bill. These last two items offer a real generational opportunity to enshrine nature's recovery in the future of the UK and all our lives.
For Leicestershire and Rutland we need to understand what we mean by nature's recovery and how Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust can bring more people or communities along by getting involved in the action. Years ago we led by example and brought Ospreys back to England with our partners at Anglian Water. What should our ambition be for 2030 and how do we best achieve it? 2020 will have to see us answer that as an organisation and lead by example in delivering the ambition on the ground for people and wildlife.
The next 10 years have also been dedicated as the International Decade for Ecological Restoration, and what better place to demonstrate what this can mean for people and nature's recovery than our two counties; so that we can bring rivers back bursting with life, farmland delivering us our food and helping wildlife disperse, as well as getting our communities involved and embedded in the solutions to the ecological and climate emergencies. This can take many forms from building on our fantastic engagement work in Leicester thanks to Peoples Postcode Lottery, our nature based solutions for flooding risk at Narborough Bog with the Environment Agency, or our landscape scale initiatives in Charnwood Forest.
We need to ensure nature's recovery and you can all join us to make it happen.