Despite nature policies and laws that give protection to priority species, wildlife statistics show that 40% of the UK’s most important habitats and 30% of its rarest species are in decline. Consequentially, the ecological impact of new developments continues to be one of the main arguments against building new infrastructure.
However, according to Wildlife and Countryside Link, a network of UK organizations dedicated to protecting and enhancing wildlife, landscape and the marine environments, the UK’s goal of halting biodiversity loss by 2020 is still attainable, but will require increased political commitment at national levels.
A WSP report, titled Biodiversity net gain - A new role for infrastructure and development in improving Britain’s wildlife, calls on both the public and private sectors to step up their commitments to protecting biodiversity. The report suggests that legislating biodiversity as part of the National Planning Policy Framework could bring the UK closer to its goals by establishing a developmental commitment to enhancing, rather than endangering nature. The core focus of the report centers on the concept of biodiversity net gain, embracing the idea that damage caused by human activity can be balanced through equivalent gains.