Positive News: Celebrating What Went Right This Week

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England set a biodiversity benchmark

In a world first, England has introduced legislation requiring all new developments to boost nature.   

The biodiversity net gain law came into force on Tuesday. It means that if habitats are destroyed for homes, roads, or other developments, equivalent habitats must be recreated on-site or elsewhere. New habitats must also deliver a 10% biodiversity gain, rather than simply replacing what has been lost. 

It remains to be seen how the government will monitor and enforce the law. However, the Royal Institute of British Architects said it represents a “major change” for architects, who would now have to “design with nature”. Scotland, Sweden and Singapore are among the nations reportedly set to follow England’s example.

The Wildlife Trusts, a conservation charity, said the law could “make a positive contribution towards nature’s recovery and help address the climate emergency”.

However, its planning and development manager, Rachel Hackett, said the legislation lacked ambition. “A gain of 10% will at best hold the tide against nature loss,” she said. “If we want to secure real recovery for nature, we need to see at least 20% gain.” 

Image: TimHill

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