Our Nature: A Legacy at Risk

Dr. Lawrence Jones-Walters, Wageningen University and Research

Image author: Lawrence Jones-Walters

I have dedicated most of my working life to the protection, management and restoration of nature. More than 40 years ago, triggered by the Berne Convention, we began to gain traction through national legislation that allowed sites to be designated to protect fragile habitats and species. It was around that time that I began working for the state Institute for nature in England, on the painstaking process of identifying new protected areas, negotiating their management with landowners and managers, and designating them as ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’. The European Birds Directive, followed by the Habitats Directive, gave further protection to sites across the European Member States. The designation and protection of almost 20% of the land surface of the European Union as ‘Natura 2000’ under the Habitats Directive, was an extraordinary achievement and without it many of our most beautiful sites and their associated wildlife would have been lost. I’m proud to have been part of that effort and it hurts me to see our collective wildlife heritage and, actually, our own future health and prosperity and that of our children and grandchildren, being placed under dire threat by shortsighted, short-term and populist politics. We simply need thriving nature, now and in the future, for our own good.

This story was also published on:

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Weemoed en hoop

Een tijdje geleden werd ik door een student geïnterviewd over natuurbeleving en hoe belangrijk biodiversiteit voor mij persoonlijk is. Tijdens

Read More