University of Leicester commits to reverse biodiversity decline through worldwide Nature Positive Universities Alliance
The University of Leicester has been announced as one of the founding members of the Nature Positive Universities Alliance, continuing its commitment to being a biodiversity net-positive organisation.
The Alliance was launched at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) by the University of Oxford and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today (Thursday, 8 December) in Montreal, Canada.
It is a global network of universities that have made an official pledge to work towards a global Nature Positive goal to halt, prevent and reverse nature loss through addressing their own impacts and restoring ecosystems harmed by their activities.
This push is part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a movement to avert climate catastrophe and mass extinction.
The Nature Positive Universities Alliance brings higher education institutions together to use their unique power and influence as drivers of positive change.
Universities already carry out environmental and conservation research to help inform government and company action, but by publicly tackling their own supply chains and operational impacts on nature, universities can help guide the wider community on a path to address the twin climate and ecological crises.
The University of Leicester has a proud track record in this area using academic expertise to inform its biodiversity policies and practice and also in its work with partners and the local community.
The University’s net zero plus plan recognises the importance of nature recovery in tackling the climate and ecological crisis as well as carbon reduction and other good environmental management practices.
Dr Moya Burns, Chair of the Biodiversity Working Group and member of the Environmental Futures Institute said, “We enjoy a close working relationship with relevant groups, local authorities and communities in Leicestershire and Rutland that provide a wide range of student and citizen science projects to increase our understanding of how we can promote nature recovery locally, even in urban areas.”
Adam Tester, Gardens and Grounds Manager added, “I’ve never seen my role as simply keeping the grass neat and the flower beds tidy.
“Despite being an urban university, we have embraced all opportunities to make our campuses more wildlife-friendly and we work closely with academics and students to understand what species should be planted on our sites, even on our buildings.
“We often get compliments on how beautiful our wildflower areas look and are happy to support this alliance and hope to inspire other universities to do the same.”Information on different ways for universities and their members to engage, or how to ask your university to consider making a pledge, can be found at www.naturepositiveuniversities.net.