Creating ecosystems in a modern world

Thursday 3rd March 2022 is World Wildlife Day. Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, World Wildlife Day is designed to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Each year the day revolves around a different theme and for 2022 the theme is ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration’

The aim of this years’ theme is to raise awareness of critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora and seek new solutions for conservation. Did you know that over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable? Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction.

At Scotch Partners, we continually strive to make our projects more sustainable. It is our role to look at the projects we are working on and explore how we can support the ecosystems around our building developments. So let’s take a look into what that actually means…

What is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life.

Why is the conservation of ecosystems important?

The threat of ecosystem and species loss is a direct threat to all life on earth. Humans alone rely on biodiversity-based resources for our livelihoods, from medicine to fuel and clothing.

“People and the planet are only as healthy as the ecosystems we all depend on. Bringing degraded ecosystems back to life – for example by planting trees, cleaning up riverbanks, or simply giving nature space to recover – increases their benefits to society and biodiversity. Without reviving ecosystems, we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Climate Agreement. But ecosystems are also complex and highly varied, and their restoration needs careful planning and patient implementation.” (UN, 2021)

Our ecosystems

London is home to 9 million people, nearly as many trees, and 15,000 species of wildlife. Here in London we have a vast amount of ecosystems right at our doorstep from flower boxes on window sills to the River Thames. Unfortunately, the city faces many threats to these ecosystems. London Biodiversity Partnership identified a total of 214 priority species that are under particular threat in London. There are many causes for the decline in biodiversity: climate change, urbanisation, agriculture, and fishing to name a few. With this however, there are also many opportunities for restoration; planning decisions are taking into account these priority species, communities and municipal authorities are cleaning up their parks and water ways, new projects are including smarter more sustainable technologies to reduce their environmental impact.

How can you get involved?

  • Get outside! London Wildlife Trust (LWT) have sites across the city where there are many unique and fascinating creatures you can encounter.
  • Sow wildflowers – wildflowers seeds are cheap to buy and easy to grow. In turn they provide pollinators and insects with food from leaves, pollen, nectar, shelter and places to breed. The look pretty beautiful too!
  • Make a bug hotel. A bug hotels benefit lots of different types of minibeast and insects such as ladybirds, bees, spiders and woodlice. Minibeasts can then use your bug hotel as a safe space to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young, and seek refuge from predators.
  • See what conservation initiatives are in your area and get involved! Find a community garden that you can support or consider becoming a nature volunteer – there are lots of different ways you can get involved.
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