Agenda item

Notice of Motion

The following Notice of Motion has been given in accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure:-

 

“This council notes in the recent report from the UN intergovernmental panel on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report outlines the deterioration in biodiversity globally and the serious consequences of a further decline in biodiversity.

 

This council further notes the UK government’s failure to achieve agreed targets on biodiversity (the Aichi targets).

 

Council therefore

 

1. Calls on the government to urgently take action to achieve the Aichi targets;

 

2. Commits to a review of how this council’s activities can ensure biodiversity protection while at the same time delivering services, housing and climate change protection to the residents of the district; and

 

3. Calls on our local authorities in the county to jointly address the highly serious issue of the future deterioration in biodiversity.”

 

(signed by Councillor Giles Archibald)

Minutes:

In accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the following notice of motion had been put to Council by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder:-

 

 “This council notes in the recent report from the UN intergovernmental panel on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report outlines the deterioration in biodiversity globally and the serious consequences of a further decline in biodiversity.

 

This council further notes the UK government’s failure to achieve agreed targets on biodiversity (the Aichi targets).

 

Council therefore

 

1. Calls on the government to urgently take action to achieve the Aichi targets;

 

2. Commits to a review of how this council’s activities can ensure biodiversity protection while at the same time delivering services, housing and climate change protection to the residents of the district; and

 

3. Calls on our local authorities in the county to jointly address the highly serious issue of the future deterioration in biodiversity.”

 

In moving the motion, Councillor Archibald stressed the importance and seriousness of the issue.  He referred to the recent report produced by a global panel of scientists, the conclusions of which were not encouraging.  Councillor Archibald explained that biodiversity covered many dimensions.  It was not purely about ecosystems but also covered the number of species that existed, the population and size of that species and, critically, the genetic variation within the species.  Genetic variety within a species was critical to ensure the resilience of that species.  Human resistance to certain diseases relied, in part, on genetic diversity.

 

Councillor Archibald informed Members that the biodiversity of the world mattered because it provided a lot of services which tended to be taken for granted.  For example, most of the clean water in the world was provided through the ecosystem service and most of the fresh air resulted from natural carbon sinks.  Much of the climate was regulated through the ecosystem.  The ecosystem provided a huge amount of medicines, for example, 70% of medicines for cancer depended on nature.  The ecosystem provided the livelihoods for billions and it furnished the pollination system, which as a vital natural process that was critically important to the food supply.

 

Councillor Archibald explained that more ecosystem services were used up than were generated.  He referred to the “Earth overshoot day” which last year had been 1 August.  This was the day the earth used ecosystem services that could be regenerated in a twelve month period.  For Britain, it had been17 May.  Human existence was threatened if this continued.

 

Councillor Archibald informed Members that the report to which he had earlier referred indicated that about 1m species were currently at risk.  There was genetic narrowing that was of concern and a reduction in genetic diversity could threaten human existence.

 

There were considered to be several causes of biodiversity loss, of which climate change was one.  Others were land use change, pollution and invasive species, for example Himalayan Balsam.

 

Councillor Archibald talked about what could be done, advising that the Government had made some commitments - the Aichi targets.  Sadly, some of these targets were not being reached, however, Councillor Archibald suggested that the Government could be pushed to re-examine its commitments.  He felt that this motion to Council would hopefully remind Government and the public of the importance of the issue.

 

Councillor Archibald explained how help could be offered locally, by planting trees, by creating habitats (for example Sandy Bottoms in Kendal was to be converted into a much richer, more bio-diverse habitat). The Council could offer support for individual projects like pollinators, hedgerows and making sure the verges grew more wildflowers.  The Council would continue diverse tree planting and increase the biodiversity in its parks.  It would continue to seek ideas from others and would ensure that developers respected existing Council policy which required biodiversity gain from developments.  The Council did not, however, not have all the answers and Councillor Archibald closed in calling on all Members and all of the community to join in tackling this crisis.

 

Councillor Tom Harvey, seconding the motion, supported all that said by Councillor Archibald.  He believed that all Members would be in agreement.

 

Members welcomed this worthwhile motion which they felt should be addressed alongside Climate Change.  It was agreed that a great deal could be done at local level and suggested that Members should look to find areas within their wards which had the potential for re-wilding, taking into account the potential to link up small green spaces, as well as working in partnership with other authorities, schools and communities in order to make positive changes.

 

It was subsequently unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That the motion be carried as submitted.