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East Suffolk Council declares biodiversity and ecological emergency





A district council has declared a biodiversity and ecological emergency.

Cllr Rachel Smith-Lyte, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the environment, proposed the declaration during last night’s full council meeting.

East Suffolk Council first declared a climate emergency in 2019, working since then to reduce its carbon emissions.

A district council has declared a biodiversity and ecological emergency. Picture: iStock
A district council has declared a biodiversity and ecological emergency. Picture: iStock

Cllr Smith-Lyte said the new declaration would give the council more leverage when determining and enforcing planning conditions, allowing it to go beyond the 10 per cent biodiversity net gain currently demanded.

She added: “Just like climate change, the loss of species and degradation of our natural environment is an existential threat to humanity, and just like climate change, the action needed is both urgent and transformative.

“Both are in a state of near collapse and we must play our part in our corner of England to do the right thing by them.”

East Suffolk Council first declared a climate emergency in 2019. Picture: submitted
East Suffolk Council first declared a climate emergency in 2019. Picture: submitted

The motion received unanimous support despite some councillors raising worries over the lack of detailed costs and expected outcomes.

The approved declaration will see the development of a biodiversity action plan subject to an annual efficacy review, increased monitoring, and the possible implementation of a Greenprint Forum focused on engaging under 18s.

Cllr Toby Hammond, cabinet member for economic development and transport, added: “The ecological collapse would mean the collapse of our civilisation — it sounds rather dramatic but it is true so it is a genuine emergency.

“We need to go further and we need to take this more seriously — It will strengthen our ability to make projects greener in future.”