We want the 2021 elected WMCA Mayor to commit to:
- Support the green transformation of the West Midlands by investing in the delivery of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy with ambitious targets to restore the landscape for wildlife and people, with 30% of land designated for nature.
- Provide access to high quality green space for all and champion the benefits of an improved environment to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Invest in sustainable transport to green and blue spaces, and create desirable social spaces through ‘green’ regeneration of town centres and residential areas, helping to reduce pressure for new developments elsewhere.
- Help create a healthy natural environment to mitigate the ecological and climate crisis by investing in nature-based solutions and green infrastructure that tackle poor air quality, pollution, flooding and overheating in urban areas.
- Boost employment opportunities in the environmental sector by investing in training and job creation for the next generation of green sector professionals to support a post-COVID-19 recovery. Champion diversity to better reflect local communities and empower more people to develop a positive connection with, and impact upon, the natural environment.
- Improve environmental standards for new housing by including space for nature in all new developments to create homes that are good for people and wildlife. Protect all valuable ecological spaces from development and ensure the right development in the right place. Reinvest profits from developments into wildlife-rich green spaces and ensure all new developments exceed biodiversity targets.
- Reduce the negative impacts of HS2 by securing increased investment in the ‘Green Corridor’ and delivering on HS2’s ‘no net loss in biodiversity’ targets to leave an improved legacy for the communities of the West Midlands. Ensure independent scrutiny, reporting and enforcement of HS2’s on the ground ecological work including meaningful engagement with environmental stakeholders.
We all benefit when we regularly connect with nature, and many of us gained both solace and energy from nature during the Covid-19 pandemic. So it’s critical that access to high quality green spaces is improved.
The UK is facing an ecological emergency: according to the 2019 State of Nature report, 41% of species have decreased in the UK since 1970 and 133 species have already become extinct. Factors such as climate change, pollution, urbanisation and agricultural management are contributing to this crisis.
Together with The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, we are calling on the elected Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority to commit to our six key actions, which we believe will help bring about nature’s recovery across Coventry, Solihull, Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton if they are elected.
On Tuesday the 30th March we held a hustings event with the candidates standing for election. You can watch a full recording of the event here: