On our watch… biodiversity breakdown

Although over recent years in the built environment, ‘on our watch’, we have been discussing and to varying degree implementing biodiversity net gain, biodiversity units, action plans, habitat exchange, ecology of place, connectivity with nature and biophilic design. Yet today’s State of Nature report paints a dire picture of decline and loss of so many species and habitats. And, worryingly, reports no significant improvement since the 2016 State of Nature report, that labelled the UK as “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”.

Causes of the losses are reported as intensification of farming, pollution, plastic, urbanisation – destruction of habitats for houses and development, hydrological change, the climate crisis and invasive alien species.

Over recent months many architects, civil, structural & service engineers and landscape architects have signed a biodiversity emergency declaration, in recognition that an emergency exists, to tell the truth and take regenerative, net positive actions to address. Now then is the time to act – and to consider every decision of design, construction and operation of buildings as being part of nature, rather than apart from nature.

Realigning how people understand and relate to the natural environment that sustains us. … The intent of the Living Building Challenge Place Petal

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