Banbury Community Action Group

Feb 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the BCAG February News update! The growing season is already underway with the first of the early spring flowers brightening our gardens, parks and wild spaces.  Are there enough of them to nourish those early early insects on the wing for the first time since last year’s autumn sunshine?  With their natural habitats diminishing, maybe not. Help BCAG maximise places for the natural world within our town.
    Biodiversity loss
    Biodiversity loss is as much a threat to humanity as the climate crisis: the two are inextricable linked.  Biodiversity is decreasing worldwide at a truly alarming rate.  If we humans don’t change our ways, the decline will get worse.  Not good for the planet; not good for us.

Who is doing what about it? 
Late May, 2021, Kunming, China, and the United Nation’s Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) will be taking a look at how things are going on the biodiversity front.  There’s been quite a bit of progress on the international targets designed to improve matters, which were set in 2010.  Nevertheless, the UK has missed 17 of the 20 targets it signed up to in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020”. 

What happens next?
The international community will set new goals!  These will appear in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  Through it – if this time all parties manage to do what they say they will – by 2050, mankind will have achieved the vision of living in harmony with nature.  It is vital that this becomes reality, not just more conference dreaming: there is nothing untrue about the plunging decline of the natural world resulting from our exploitation of Earth.

      Biodiversity gain
Just worrying about the state of the natural world does little good.  Much better, and more productive, is to do something.  To that end, BCAG are thinking that some additional local biodiversity-related action would not go amiss!  There are already some fantastic initiatives underway – Wild Banbury to name but one – but there is ample scope for more!
We are looking to link up with all those groups and individuals interested in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, to ensure Banbury is a welcoming place for as rich an array as possible, of plant and animal life. 
Will you join in?

                      Project Number One: Pollinator Paradises.
 Insects are an absolutely vital part of the living world providing multiple services as pollinators; dinner; sextons.  Their numbers are plummeting. 
Let us give them a helping hand and, at the same time, cheer up and bring colour and fun to some under-loved corners of Banbury town!

The plan?  To plant Pollinator Paradises, here and there – (eventually) everywhere and in so doing, raise awareness among the residents of the town, to 
* the importance of insect life to our own existence, and 
* to the wider, man-made, crisis in the natural world – the biodiversity emergency – of which the decline in insect numbers is just a part.

It takes a little while for such projects to get going, but if anything in the Pollinator Paradises Project grabs your attention and you think you’d like to be part of it, we’d love to hear from you!  Contact us: email or Facebook, either would be great.
[This project is inspired by the hugely successful Bee Healthy project rolled out elsewhere in the County (Wild Oxfordshire, Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.  See more about it here.]

      Ideas of your own?
Fantastic – let us know and we can work together to do our bit locally to reverse biodiversity decline globally.  Lots of small actions add up to something big..

With the May COP15, November COP26, and the upcoming Environment Bill, there’s lots happening.
Be part of it.  
Unsplash mages top to bottom: thanks to:
Annie Spratt; Thomas David Cornwell; Charlotte Descamps; Martin Sepion; Nick Fewing.