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Set against a backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of the natural world, and intergovernmental reports that the current global response to the effects of human impact on nature is insufficient – the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty believes that now is the time to significantly increase the scale and pace of nature conservation activity in AONBs. Using our unique network and partnership model, we are making a collective Declaration on Nature in AONBs, setting out our strategy for change.

With many AONB host authorities having taken the step of declaring a Climate Emergency we are demonstrating our readiness to act to redress declines in species and habitats within the context of a wider response to climate change.

We believe

  1. Natural Beauty has intrinsic value and means so much to people.
  2. AONBs should be places of rich, diverse and abundant wildlife.
  3. Nature recovery is central to the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty.
  4. Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity and one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Designated landscapes offer some of the most powerful solutions to the challenges of climate change.
  5. The network of AONBs and National Parks, their teams, partnerships, authorities and stakeholders offer a unique solution to tackling environmental challenges.

We pledge

By July 2020

  1. To enable an approach that creates opportunities within AONBs for people to make an emotional connection with nature.
  2. To prepare a Nature Recovery Plan for each AONB

By 2024

  1. To embed an ecosystems services approach into all AONB Management Plans
  2. To ensure all AONB management plans include meaningful measures around climate change mitigation and adaptation, including clear, measurable targets to support Net Zero

By 2030

  1. That at least 200,000 ha of SSSIs in AONBs will be in favourable condition
  2. That at least 100,000 ha of wildlife-rich habitat outside of protected sites will have been created/restored in AONBs to further support the natural movement of plants and animals
  3. That at least 36,000 ha of new woodland will have been planted or allowed to regenerate in AONBs following the principle of the right tree in the right place
  4. That, by each AONB immediately adopting a species on the threatened list and by preparing and delivering a Species Action Plan, at least thirty species relevant to AONBs will be taken off the list by 2030

We call on Westminster and Welsh Governments to provide the power and resources to make these targets achievable. 

Would you like to download this as a document? 

Colchester Declaration

Thank you to David Vignolli, at Visual Scribing, for creating these images live during proceedings at the L4L Conference 2019