Wildlife corridors to be reviewed in bid to protect species
PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 03 August 2019
Fresh measures to safeguard the environment have been agreed by a Suffolk council, with wildlife corridors added to the green agenda.
Mid Suffolk District Council has agreed to review wildlife corridors - areas connecting two larger areas of wildlife - and bring forward proposals through a task force to improve those areas.
They are considered essential for the movement of wild animals and protecting the environment from the impact of development.
The council's Green group put forward a motion at the last council meeting calling for a review, just minutes after the authority agreed to declare a climate emergency.
Green group leader Rachel Eburne said: "Climate change is recognised as the predominant threat to human security, necessitating a response from local authorities in their community leadership role.
"Part of that response must come from our work in protecting and enhancing the natural habitat of the district, which supports biodiversity, including the trees which absorb carbon dioxide.
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"Council has a direct role as a landowner, and an indirect role as the local planning authority."
According to Green councillor Dan Pratt, who has worked as an ecologist, species losses over the past century are 100 times higher than before humans graced the planet.
The party had called for a task force to be set up, but it was agreed that the wildlife corridors review would be debated by the new climate change group being established as part of the climate emergency declaration.
It essentially means a cross-party group of councillors will look at all kinds of climate and environment impacts, and come up with measures to help reduce and combat those - such as carbon emissions and safeguarding green spaces.
Conservative cabinet member for environment, Jessica Fleming, said: "I am very pleased that our council recognises the responsibilities we have to protect biodiversity and wildlife.
"Through the task force, we will now look at how we can enhance this role and ensure that biodiversity and wildlife conservation are central to our work as part of the county-wide ambition to make Suffolk the greenest county."
The climate emergency means the council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.