BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council have said that nature is key to healing our climate after declaring a “twin emergency”.

At a full council meeting held on Thursday, October 14 Borough councillors debated plans to declare an ecological emergency.

The plans include declaring an ecological emergency, adding ecological implications alongside those for climate and sustainability in Committee and Council reports, working with communities to promote landscape and habitat protection, restoration, expansion, and connectivity and working with stakeholders to provide opportunities for learning about and reconnecting with nature.

The motion was unanimously approved by all councillors in attendance.

Cllr Andy Konieczko (Liberal Democrat), who proposed the motion spoke in favour, he said: "The challenges and risks posed by climate change are well known.

“We all have a role to play in reducing our carbon emissions. Central government have a role to play in terms of helping us make the right decisions.”

He said that climate change isn’t the only thing “threatening the world” after a recent study concluded that 15 per cent of the UK’s species are threatened with extinction.

He added: “I grew up in rural Leicestershire, took it all for granted and it was only when I moved to London that I recognised the value of nature.

"If our natural world is left to decay, the consequences are disastrous."

The State of Nature 2019 highlighted the critical decline in biodiversity in the UK and showed that 15 per cent of the UK species are currently classified as threatened with extinction and 2 per cent are already extinct.

Councillor, Paul Harvey, leader of the Basingstoke and Deane Independent Group also supported the motion.

He said: "Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale.

"We need to rewind our borough. I hope by declaring an ecology emergency we will kickstart the recovery of our wildlife.

"I hope we will grab the last chance to rescue the wildlife of Basingstoke and Deane.”

Cllr Mark Ruffell (Conservative) also shared similar views.

He said he wanted to bring in a similar motion himself and that environment has been forgotten about for “too long”

He added: “nature's recovery is vital for tackling climate change.”

The lead of the Labour group, Cllr Andy McCormick, also showed his support.

He said: “Hopefully when we pass this motion that will crystallise our thoughts. Not paving over gardens, keeping undergrowth, joining, and supporting conservation groups.

“It's my vision that every area will have a conservation group looking after biodiversity groups."

Cllr, Jacky Tustain, also a member of the Labour group said we are currently facing “ecological emergency” and they are both “intertwined”.

She added: "What we do will affect future generations. We have a responsibility to make sure we prevent future damage.

“I urge you all to support this motion too."

Then Environmental bill will require the introduction of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy and Nature Recovery Network as an aid to planning.