Nature’s contributions to humanity is critically important for our livelihoods, economies, quality of life and wellbeing. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released their 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which outlines the implications of the loss of biodiversity in achieving climate-change targets. It is imperative that cities work independently to achieve their climate targets to protect our global environment and the finite natural resources that are available to us.
Here in Exeter, the City Council are working alongside Devon Wildlife Trust and others to identify, preserve and monitor the most important habitats including areas of flower-rich grassland, broadleaved woodland, wetlands and hedgerows. It is critical to ensure that measures to deliver a carbon-neutral City enhance and improve these and other areas; especially in light of the planned growth of Exeter and the surrounding region.
Establishing sustainable local food supplies, capturing rain-water and halting biodiversity loss are vital to ensure that Exeter is a happy and healthy City where both people and nature can thrive in unison.
Imagining the Future of Exeter
Through our engagement activities with the diverse business and local communities of Exeter and by analysing best practices of other cities across the globe we have identified a set of features that Exeter will need to demonstrate in order to meet this Goal.
- Everyone has access to high-quality green space within a 10-minute walk from their home
- All new communities have access to land reserved for local food production via allotments and city farms
- A regional produce distribution hub has been created to keep food miles low and make locally produced food accessible
- Exeter’s supermarkets are stocked with a wide range of local produce to reduce food miles and improve local food resilience
- Exeter’s tree canopy cover has increased by a quarter since 2018
- All new developments in Exeter achieve the highest standards of design for wildlife, water and wellbeing making a positive contribution to the local environment
- Wildlife in Exeter is significantly more abundant than in 2018
- Rainwater is recycled on all properties across the city
- Exeter has initiated programmes to assist residents to adopt more sustainable and healthy food habits, including the reduction of meat consumption to sustainable levels.