“Regenerating” cities by creating natural corridors could protect humanity from climate change

According to a new report, the “regeneration” of cities by creating natural corridors and wild spaces could protect humanity from the worst impacts of climate change.

The study by the international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) says restoring biodiversity could increase wildlife and protect city dwellers from heatwaves, forest fires and floods.

Rewilding is a way to restore the nature and biodiversity of a territory by letting nature take care of itself, reviving natural processes.

This could include less management and more wilderness areas in parks, cemeteries and along railway lines and letting nature take over former industrial sites.

The rivers could be carried out of the culverts in which they were buried or left to cover with vegetation while the barriers that block the movements of the fish could be removed.

Residents can also do their part, leaving some of their gardens in the wild and avoiding artificial lawns and pesticides.

Rewilding is a way to restore the nature and biodiversity of a territory by letting nature take care of itself, reviving natural processes. Foxes are already a common sight in our cities

The study claims that restoring biodiversity could increase wildlife and protect city dwellers from heatwaves, forest fires and floods

The study claims that restoring biodiversity could increase wildlife and protect city dwellers from heatwaves, forest fires and floods

Giving nature more freedom in our cities could help strengthen urban wildlife through habitat creation.  In the photo: sleepy dormouse

Giving nature more freedom in our cities could help strengthen urban wildlife through habitat creation. In the photo: sleepy dormouse

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“Forest fires, floods and heatwaves around the world have brought the climate crisis to the fore for many people this year,” said Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, lead author and expert on climate and biodiversity at the Institute of zoology of the ZSL.

“The interconnection of the climate crisis with the loss of nature is fortunately now widely recognized and rewilding is an increasingly adopted approach.”

Urban habitat creation is critical in the fight against wildlife change as it helps protect, enhance and restore habitats.

This year, Eurasian beavers were reintroduced to a wooded enclosure in Enfield, north London, after being absent for 400 years.

The furry additions are meant to help restore natural habitats and even reduce the risk of flooding in the city.

While foxes are commonplace in our cities, other animals have made unexpected appearances.

Two species of seahorses and hundreds of seals now call the River Thames their home.

In 2019, the Zoological Society of London counted 932 harbor seals and 3,243 gray seals in the water.

And the bison have just been reintroduced into the Kent woods, where they have been absent for 6,000 years.

“Giving more free rein to nature in our cities could not only help protect them from extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves, helping to cool them and create natural flood defenses, but also help strengthen urban wildlife through habitat creation, ‘said Dr. Pettorelli.

Two species of seahorses and hundreds of seals now call the River Thames their home.  Pictured: The seahorse in the Thames is being measured by the ZSL conservation team

Two species of seahorses and hundreds of seals now call the River Thames their home. Pictured: The seahorse in the Thames is being measured by the ZSL conservation team

In 2019, the Zoological Society of London counted 932 harbor seals and 3,243 gray seals in the water

In 2019, the Zoological Society of London counted 932 harbor seals and 3,243 gray seals in the water

RESULTS OF THE ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ REPORT

A new report from The Wildlife Trusts predicts that, by 2050 and with a future warming trajectory reaching 5.4 ° F (3 ° C) warming by 2100:

  • It is expected that 94 per correspondent of the 2,700 Trusts sites will see an increase in the maximum summer temperature of more than 1.8 ° F (1 ° C) compared to 1981-2010; with 7% of those exceeding + 2.7 ° F (+ 1.5 ° C), all in the south of England.
  • 55% will see flows from nearby rivers decrease by more than 30% during low-flow periods compared to 1981-2010.
  • 50% will experience 30 or more days of very high forest fire risk per year compared to only 9% between 1981 and 2010.

Rewilding has also been seen to improve mental health, as it gives people the opportunity to interact with nature.

Charity Mind said, “Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”

The study reveals that, by 2050, two out of three people are likely to be living in cities or other urban environments, meaning that incorporating rewilding now could have a huge impact on thousands of people.

The concept has already been successful in Germany and Singapore, where they have seen an extremely positive impact from rewilding.

In Singapore, the iconic Gardens by the Bay includes 18 false super trees, some of which reach 160 feet, which mimic ordinary trees by absorbing heat, filtering rainwater, and providing shade.

They are now also home to around 158,000 living plants, allowing nature to regain control.

“Large-scale rewilding of urban spaces, including the creation of natural corridors and wild spaces around city infrastructure, is something that has so far been relatively neglected as part of the solution,” said Dr. Bibs.

“This is the first report of its kind to chart a roadmap for the redevelopment of our cities and we believe this is a high impact solution to jointly address crises related to climate and biodiversity loss in a low cost and “without hands”.’

Rewilding has also been seen to improve mental health, as it gives people the opportunity to interact with nature.  Pictured: Checkered Skipper butterfly

Rewilding has also been seen to improve mental health, as it gives people the opportunity to interact with nature. Pictured: Checkered Skipper butterfly

The concept has already been successful in Germany and Singapore, where they have seen an extremely positive impact from rewilding.  In the photo: urban pilgrim

The concept has already been successful in Germany and Singapore, where they have seen an extremely positive impact from rewilding. In the photo: urban pilgrim

However, while rewilding has been shown to benefit the environment and the people who inhabit it, the scientists behind the report warned that rewilding must be provided with professional advice and support.

“Large-scale rewilding should be done with expert guidance as ultimately well-meaning but misleading efforts could actually lead to further biodiversity loss and greater threats to public health through invasive species, disease transmission from wildlife. wilderness and a further exacerbation of social inequalities, ”said Dr Petrelli.

With the reintroduction of new species, disease risk assessments need to be carried out to ensure that the animal is safe in its new home and that its new home is safe from the animal.

Dr. Pettorelli added: “For urban redevelopment to work, we need the consensus and support of policy makers, funders, conservation scientists and, of course, local communities.

‘There is so much the average person can do to support positive change. For example, by leaving part of your garden in the wild and avoiding artificial grass and pesticides, we can all do our part to ensure a future where wildlife and people thrive. ‘

HOW DO BEAVERS MAKE LANDSCAPES MORE RESILIENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

Beavers build dams that create series of ponds connected by streams.

The resulting wetlands help strengthen environments against climate change in several ways;

  • Provide water for wildlife – This includes drinking water for large mammals, habitats for insects and plant growth.
  • Cool the earth – The deeper the water, the cooler it tends to be, so their ponds help lower the water temperature. When this colder water leaks into the environment, it cools the earth.
  • Cool the air – Ponds have a large surface area that allows for faster evaporation of water, which acts as air conditioning.
  • flood prevention – In addition to physically retaining rainwater, the pond net helps slow the flow of water during periods of heavy rain, thus allowing the soil to absorb more of it.
  • Maintenance of wetlands during drought – Deep water areas caused by dams help prevent wetlands from drying out.