UK National Parks launch new ‘A Natural Partnership’ campaign to help fund urgent nature restoration

We live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. UK National Parks have the potential to thrive with nature, and while there are pockets that are, there’s a long way to go to ensure widespread biodiversity. It’s imperative that purpose-led businesses urgently invest in long-term nature solutions. 

The role of National Parks  

National Parks play a huge role in restoring local biodiversity, supporting national ecosystems, and contributing to climate solutions. They don’t just support nature, they sustain communities that live and work in the landscape. And what’s more, we have fifteen in the UK – occupying 10% of the land mass of Great Britain. From the uplands of Exmoor to the mountains of Eryri, the rolling hills of South Downs to the world-renowned lochs in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. 

England’s 10 National Parks have developed a Nature Recovery Vision

National Parks sit at the heart of the nation’s nature recovery network; we are places where wildlife flourishes, habitats are maintained, restored, and expanded, and where everyone can experience nature and wildlife at their best. Strong local partnerships in each National Park will deliver 20% of the government’s nature recovery target on 10% of the land, saving/sequestering 330,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

Several National Park Authorities are now creating their own local version. They know what needs to be done – with no shortage of skills, expertise and opportunities – but lack the funds to do it. 

The role of businesses 

Business – no strangers to targets – must take a lead and become part of the solution, and a National Parks Partnerships is here to help develop large-scale impactful partnerships in some of the country’s most treasured landscapes. By working together with businesses, we can unlock the full potential of National Parks for people, nature and climate. 

Encouragingly, everywhere we turn, we see businesses committed to doing more for nature. Biodiversity Net Gain making its way into mainstream language, and dedicated nature posts created not just within ESG teams, but sometimes at the heart of business leadership teams.  

Businesses are more dependent on nature than previously thought. PwC research released last year (2023) reveals the extent to which economic activities and natural ecosystems are linked, with 55% of global GDP—equivalent to about $58trn (circa £45trn) — moderately or highly dependent on nature – up almost one-third 14 trillion dollars (circa £11trn) since 2020.

Governments around the world have recognised the need to do more for nature. The UK has established wider collective targets, including a commitment to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030. But the Green Finance Initiative’s 2021 Finance Gap for UK Nature report revealed a minimum of £44bn to £97bn in investment above current public sector commitments is required for the UK to meet nature-related outcomes in the next ten years.

A Natural Partnership 

However, the scale of nature restoration needed in UK National Parks is very unlikely to be fully covered by government funding. The private sector is ready and willing to invest significant sums of money into funding nature restoration, as demonstrated by recent partnership announcements between Aviva and The Wildlife Trusts and WWT, we now need to facilitate this for National Parks.  

In 2021, National Parks Partnerships joined forces with Global impact firm Palladium to launch Revere: Investing in Natural Capital and unlock green finance at scale into nature restoration in National Parks. Partners include Santander UK and Estee Lauder Companies UK & Ireland and progress is underway to create financing platforms and develop large-scale nature-based solutions. 

Outside of Revere, the focus is on corporate philanthropic giving for nature restoration in National Parks – examples of support in this space includes the BMW ‘Recharge in Nature’ grants funding nature restoration and engagement projects in all UK National Parks. 

UK National Parks are experts in restoring nature and enhancing biodiversity across some of the country’s most iconic landscapes. By working with National Parks Partnerships businesses can create meaningful partnerships that will benefit people, communities, nature and climate – local interventions with national impact. 

Are you ready to step up for nature in National Parks and explore a natural partnership? Find out more at here.

Or come and see us at edie 24 on 20-21 March 2024. 

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