Last night the Stapledon society – IBERs guest lecture series on rural issues in Wales – hosted Diana Reynolds from the Welsh Assembly, who coordinates Welsh efforts to reverse biodiversity loss across Wales. The talk was particularly interesting because the speaker detailed the Welsh Assembly’s aim to reverse biodiversity loss and the policy process for achieving this, which as well as being based on ecosystem science sought to deliberate within and between the local environment and local communities. The end product of the process will be an Environment Bill that aims to change environmental decision-making across Wales.
The speaker had an interesting style, asking us to enter a thought experiment by selecting a place that we valued. Throughout the talk she asked us to return to this place and spend a minute thinking about different aspects of its ecosystem; how it connected to the wider landscape; the people that inhabited it; its usage by our ancestors, and; how it may be preserved for the unborn. She also had to field some difficult questions, particularly about wind farms and the lack of deliberation in this policy decision. She conceded to this point whilst reminding her audience about the difficulties in pleasing all and reducing the effects of climate change, which puts further pressure on the Assembly’s aim to reverse biodiversity loss. All in all it was a very interesting event and if you would like to find out more about this initiative, see Wale’s biodiversity partnership homepage.