Biodiversity is under threat in the UK. The UK has lost more natural wildlife and wild spaces due to human activity than any other G7 country, according to a 2021 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) report. Owing to its unique position at the forefront of this issue, the construction industry has a responsibility to play its part in mitigating habitat destruction.
Impact on species decline
The construction industry has had a significant impact on biodiversity loss. Land use and construction practices contribute to the removal of natural habitats. This affects the diversity of individual species, genetic diversity and prevents migration and the occupation of a wider range of habitats. In particular, transport infrastructure over the past few decades has had a major impact on wildlife populations worldwide, causing habitat loss, pollution and fragmentation as well as substantial rates of road traffic mortality.
Within the UK in particular, around one in seven of our wildlife species have either become extinct or threatened with extinction within the last 40 years. In its most recent analysis, Natural England has identified that over 40% of our most important habitats and 30% of our rarest species are still declining.
The scale of habitat destruction
It is worth highlighting how urgently habitat protection needs to be addressed. Statistics from the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) State of Nature report in 2019 found that more species are decreasing (41%) than increasing (26%) over the last 50 years. The fate of hedgehogs is a visceral example of this. Since 2000, their numbers have halved, according to a report in 2019, with rough estimates suggesting the population has dropped from 30 million to one million since the 1950s.
To read the full article visit https://www.aco.co.uk/news/article/Managing-biodiversity