Biodiversity Day

As policy makers and stakeholders gather in Egypt for COP27, they're tasked with mapping out a plan of desperately needed action to address the urgency of the global climate crisis.

This year, COP27 are holding Biodiversity Day, with the aim of opening up a constructive dialogue to ensure we’re on track to secure biodiversity, a stable climate, and sustainable development for all. And we're using this opportunity to highlight the potential of nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss together. 

Advocating nature-based solutions

Biodiversity Day reminds us of how the impacts of climate change are intensifying the current biodiversity crisis. Hear from Mike Barker, Director of Ecology at RPS, on why we're advocating nature-based solutions and leading on biodiversity net gain.

 

Jump to:

Impacts of climate change on biodiversity

Nature-based solutions

Biodiversity Net Gain

Meet our ecology experts

Sources

Impacts of climate change on biodiversity

  • Protecting biodiversity

    Biodiversity supports everything in nature we need to survive: food, clean water, and shelter. We depend on ecosystems functioning. But climate change is accelerating habitat loss and degradation on land and water, endangering many species.

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  • Deforestation and development are destroying habitats

    Human-driven actions are disrupting vital ecosystems and accelerating the climate and biodiversity crises, damaging wetland, grassland, and woodland habitats.

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  • Human-driven increased levels of carbon dioxide is polluting the ocean

    CO2 is causing the ocean to become more acidic. By 2100, it’s expected that acidity levels will alter ocean chemistry and dissolve shells and corals. This change will have a detrimental impact on ecosystems, hugely affecting habitats and food chains.

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  • Many species are in decline

    Species across many different environments are becoming endangered as a result of human interference and climate change. Habitat loss and degradation is disrupting ecosystems and causing imbalances in the natural environment.

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    Biodiversity in Europe - the most endangered species graphic on green background with a Ram's Horn snail,  Planorbella trivolvis freshwater air-breathing snail.
  • Delivering Biodiversity Net Gain

    But not all is lost. Factoring in Biodiversity Net Gain during development aims to create or enhance habitats to improve biodiversity, leaving the environment in a better state than it was before.

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Nature-based solutions

The protection and restoration of nature is vital if we’re to halt biodiversity loss and reduce the impacts of climate change. Harnessing the power of nature, Nature-based solutions (NbS) can be utilised to deliver scalable and affordable action to benefit both society and biodiversity.

Designed to protect, restore and manage ecosystems, they provide a range of benefits, including enhanced biodiversity, flood alleviation, better livelihoods for local communities, and they contribute to greenhouse gas reductions, either by storing carbon or by preventing its release.

But balancing biodiversity, conservation, development and growth is a pressing challenge for governments across the globe. How do we utilise NbS to get the much-needed benefits they offer? 

Biodiversity net gain

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an approach that aims to ensure developments have a positive ecological impact, delivering improvements through habitat creation or enhancement after avoiding or mitigating harm. We want to leave sites in a better condition than how they were found. And whilst it only applies to development in England at the moment, it is expected that other nations will look to similar legislation in the near future. 

Find out more about Biodiversity Net Gain and how to deliver it. 

Honeybee pollinating lavender

Meet some of our experts

So how are we making a difference?

Meet some of our ecology specialists below where you'll hear about their career journey, responsibilities, and how their role can contribute in the fight against climate change.

  • Tessa McGarry

    Tessa is a Marine Ecologist, supporting wind farm developers to navigate the consenting process to ensure development doesn't negatively impact marine mammals.

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  • Stephen Lockwood

    Stephen is an Ecologist specialising in upland habitats and their peatland ecosystems, helping developers improve the biodiversity within their sites.

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  • Nora Washbourne

    Nora is a Freshwater Ecologist specialising in habitat assessments and advising on design requirements, such as influencing watercourse crossing designs to ensure fish migration is maintained.

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    Nora Washbourne Biodiversity Day Landing page Asset.jpg
  • Kevin Linnane

    Kevin is a Marine Ecologist, responsible for a team of marine ecology and Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) specialists within RPS, meeting the increased demand for offshore wind both in the UK and overseas.

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    Headshot of Kevin Linnane, Associate Director at RPS, with quote:
"There is an increasing focus on how offshore wind farms can help to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain in the marine environment, to help restore marine biodiversity while also generating clean energy for future generations."
  • Hannah Knight

    Hannah is an Ecologist, helping developers achieve their aspirations whilst simultaneously protecting and enhancing the environment.

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  • Frances Morris

    Frances is an Ecologist and is developing the use of conservation detection dogs in surveying for protected species.

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    Francis Morris Biodiversity Day Landing page Asset.jpg
  • Miles Newman

    Miles is an Ecologist, assessing the impact of projects, such as roads, rail, and wind energy, on wildlife.

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    Miles Newman Biodiversity Day Landing page Asset.jpg
  • Rob Rowlands

    Rob is an Ecologist, currently working on a range of nationally-critical projects, including contributing to the delivery of Ireland's 2030 renewable energy target.

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    Rob Rowlands Biodiversity Day Landing page Asset.jpg
  • Climate change - forest fire

    Adopting a new and innovative approach to fighting climate change

    In their recent report on climate change, the Environmental Agency’s prevailing message is morbid: 'Adapt or die'. Our environmental specialists explore how our approach to climate change must be refined for us to see significant and promising progress in reducing the built environment's harm to the planet.

    Read article
  • Environment (7)0021.jpg

    Is your Biodiversity Net Gain up-to-date?

    The recently updated Biodiversity Metric 3.1 could mean some developments in England are no longer hitting the mark when it comes to biodiversity net gain.

    And with a non-negotiable BNG needed to secure planning, this can be a big problem for those sites assessed before the updated metric came into place in April this year. Here, Director of Ecology, Mike Barker uses his experience on a recent solar project to show the impact of these changes and demonstrate why it’s advisable to review any projects assessed using previous calculators.

    Read article
  • Peatlands and Nature Recovery Networks Web banner.png

    Peatlands and Nature Recovery Networks: The Environment’s Bill of the ball?

    Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. But the Government’s recent announcement, setting out plans to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change is a crucial step forward in restoring nature and safeguarding the environment for the future. Director of Ecology, Mike Barker looks at the implications for developers and landowners moving forward.

    Read article

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