State of Nature, a report launched today with the backing of 25 UK conservation organisations, highlights the depressing, ongoing decline of British wildlife.
During the interview, Sir David makes many pertinent comments, but I do disagree with him when he states: "This ground-breaking report is a stark warning - but it is also a sign of hope.”
Although it is certainly a stark warning, I am far less sure that it is a sign of hope.
We have a government that is contradicting its own scientific advisors on issues such as culling badgers. We have Ash dieback spreading, threats to the green belt ongoing, and a human population growing at an unsustainable rate. I see no reason to be optimistic.
Worldwide the situation is much worse. In Paraguay the Chaco is being ploughed up. Elsewhere, toxoplasmosis is wiping out marsupials and sea otters, exotic species are invading more and more parts of the world and ivory is openly traded on ebay.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The economies of India, China and Brazil are booming and, in order for residents of these countries to have the basic living standards of western Europe and North America, the impact on the world’s resources will be catastrophic.
But we cannot sit back and do nothing. That is why we at World Land Trust carry on saving wild places acre by acre. Protecting biodiversity through land purchase is a slow and painstaking process, and opposing forces are tremendously powerful. But you have to start somewhere.