MPs have helped launch a year-long celebration of biodiversity within the Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region.
The calendar of events marks the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, with the University of Brighton leading on the area’s involvement in the 5th global City Nature Challenge in April. The Nature2020 programme aims to raise awareness of – and connect people to – the environment we live and work in.
Local MPs Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle joined the deputy Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Alan Robins, at a packed programme on Friday 31 January, which included speeches and a Healthwalk led by the University’s Becky Walton and Dr Rachel White to observe bird and plant species which make their home along the Undercliff walk.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown said: ‘‘It was fascinating taking part in the Healthwalk from Saltdean along the Undercliff, it’s always great to learn about your local landscape and species.
“I encourage my constituents to come along to events celebrating the unique habitats and species of our natural environment as part of Nature2020.”
Dr White, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Conservation said: “I’m really pleased to be representing the University of Brighton on the steering group for Nature2020.
“The University has a variety of research projects and campus initiatives that support wildlife and conservation, and I hope that staff and students embrace the chance to get involved in developing, sharing and discussing these with the local community.”
The university’s Dr White and Dr Maureen Berg will be among the co-leaders of The Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere’s entry into the City Nature Challenge, which will see over 250 worldwide locations compete to find and record the most wildlife between 24-27 April.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said: “I have real faith in this kind of local action and its power to not only shape national policy making and political debate, but to provide inspiration and to nourish our imaginations with beauty and awe of the natural world.
“I’m looking forward to hearing more about Nature 2020 and watch it develop over the course of the year.”
Nature2020 events connecting people and nature will be springing up throughout the year and across The Living Coast, Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region.