The restoration of temperate rainforests in Wales and the Isle of Man by the Wildlife Trusts has given hope for the recovery of this globally rare habitat across the British Isles.
Temperate rainforests, also known as Atlantic or Celtic rainforests, are found in areas with high exposure to the sea and receive high rainfall and humidity with a low variation in annual temperature. Although temperate rainforests in Britain only cover 1% of the country, they are very lush and often contain rare plants, lichens and fungi.
The Wildlife Trusts programme to restore temperate rainforests is a positive step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The restoration of temperate rainforests supports SDG 15 (Life on Land), which aims to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
The restoration of these rainforests is also a clear example of the important role that civil society can play in achieving sustainable development. Civil society, which includes non-governmental organizations, community groups, and other non-profit organizations, has a critical role in driving sustainable development and ensuring that it is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for all. The Wildlife Trusts programme is a great example of how civil society can lead the way in promoting environmental sustainability, protecting biodiversity, and addressing the impacts of climate change.
Moreover, this initiative also aligns with the vision of the global society. The restoration of temperate rainforests highlights the urgent need for a shift towards a more sustainable and equitable world. The preservation of the rainforests is critical for mitigating climate change and maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems. As the effects of climate change continue to be felt around the world, it is increasingly evident that we need to take urgent action to protect our planet and its natural resources.
The restoration of temperate rainforests also provides multiple benefits to local communities, highlighting the importance of a sustainable approach to development. The restoration will increase water purity for the West Baldwin reservoir and help with flood prevention, contributing to a nature recovery network in the Isle of Man. Additionally, the restoration of these rainforests will enable adaptation to climate change, reduce threats from extreme heat, flood and drought, and benefit local people for generations to come.
However, the success of the programme depends on continued government support. Environmental campaigner Guy Shrubsole highlights the need for government funding, support for the removal of invasive species, and the publication of a rainforest strategy for the country. This call for government action is crucial, as the restoration of temperate rainforests requires collaboration between civil society and government to create a sustainable future for all.
The work of the Wildlife Trusts is a positive step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting civil society, and realizing the vision of a sustainable global society. The initiative is a clear example of the critical role that civil society can play in promoting environmental sustainability, protecting biodiversity, and addressing the impacts of climate change. However, it is vital that the government provides continued support for these initiatives to ensure that we can create a sustainable future for generations to come.