The RSPB have just joined forces with Barrett Homes. They apparently are looking to create developments and green spaces that’s friendly to nature.
Give them a home, and they will come - as the RSPB advert says
There's no doubt in my mind that having wildlife in a garden give the place far more colour and life. There's nothing like watching the birds from a corner of the garden take a splash in a bird bath, or feast on the food you've put out for them - or to discover a hedgehog, or watch butterflies flutter from one group of flowers to another. Honestly, it's like having your own nature show.
60% of the species which have been monitored in the UK in the last 50 years are declining. And yet, private gardens in the UK cover about 450,000 hectares of land – an area larger than Suffolk.
So the potential to create fantastic places for wildlife is huge. And they don’t need a lot of room, as Butterfly Conservation’s Pot for Pollinators shows – you just need a pot with a butterfly friendly plant stuck in it and anyone can put that on a patio or balcony.
Anyway, back to the RSPB and Barrett Homes.
They’ve created some advice to help you get started giving nature a home in your garden.
The guide has basic steps on how to make your garden wildlife friendly, garden features that will help you make the most of any size garden (so there’ s no need to have a garden the size of Kent to get started), and a full plant guide of what to plant and what not to plant.
On World Lion Day (the 10th August), it’s great to announce a really exciting piece of news for wildlife conservation.
There’s a really fantastic opportunity for business to make a difference and have a real impact on wildlife.
Drum roll please for….. The Lion’s Share Fund!
You may have heard of The Lion’s Share. If you haven’t, let me tell you more. It’s an initiative which is aiming to transform the lives of animals around the world by asking advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.
I am really excited by this initiative. The hope is that $100 million a year will be raised within 3 years. The money will be invested in a range of animal conservation and animal welfare programmes, to be implemented by the UN and civil society organisations.
The Lion’s Share is working to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are aiming to end poverty and project the planet. Goal 14, Life Underwater and Goal 15, Live on Land, involve supporting animals and helping to conserve their key habitat.
The UNDP (that’s the United Nations Development Programme) will host the fund. A joint steering committee will take decisions on priority programmes. Money raised will go into creative, game-changing solutions which focus on achieving real impact for the animals and their habitats.
Ambitious for sure - but if the top 10 advertisers alone were to participate, this would bring in a staggering $47m each year alone!
Partners in the fund will contribute 0.5% of their media spent to the fund for every advert they use which has an animal in it.
And cartoon animals will count as well. So if your company has an ad with a cartoon animal in it, they can participate!
Mars is the first advertising partner. It will sit on the executive and steering committees of The Lion’s Share and encourage other businesses to get involved.
Worldwide advertising network BBDO and leading measurement and data analytics company Nielsen are also involved. BBDO is contributing the benefit of its experience in advertising, whilst Nielsen will ensure that companies are contributing correctly.
The Lion’s Share Fund has a website, and a very helpful FAQ page. This answers a number of questions which spring to mind – how can we be sure the money goes to where it should, for instance. (Nielsen will watch that side of things like a hawk.) And 93% of the funds raised will go to the animals that need it.
Rob Galluzzo, founder of FINCH, initiated the idea with Christopher Nelius, a film director. Galluzzo says that 9 out of 10 of the most popular animals seen in commercials are endangered or threatened and they don’t always get the support they deserve.
FINCH have partnered with Clemenger BBDO to bring this initiative to life.
The fund was launched in Cannes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, by UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who said quite rightly that it is our responsibility as people to safeguard all life on our planet. Coster-Waldau plays Jamie Lannister in the Games of Thrones.
So how can you help?
Well, if I see an advert with an animal in it, I'm going to let the advertising company know about the The Lion’s Shares Fund. It was only launched recently in June 2018, so they may not know of it yet.
I've got to say, I just love Ecosia. They're a search engine and I use it a lot to have a good rummage around the internet.
It's a simple formula - you search, they plant trees and it doesn't cost you a penny :-) Ecosia uses 100% of its profits to plant trees where they're needed most. So far over 34 million trees have been planted and Ecosia are aiming to plant one BILLION. It's a journey I'm really to help with, and it's so good to see that many people are joining in as well.
Did you know that the World Bank is involved in tiger conservation?
Who would have thought that all those financiers had a passion for our stripy four pawed friends?
Back in 2008, the World Bank joined the Global Environment Facility, the Smithsonian Institution, Save the Tiger Fund and the International Tiger Coalition (which represents over 40 non-government organisations. And the Global Tiger Initiative was launched. It’s led by the 13 tiger range countries.
In November 2010, leaders of these tiger range countries got together in St Petersburg in Russia. At this International Tiger Forum, they adopted the St Petersburg Declation on Tiger Conservation. And they endorced the Global Tiger Recovery Programme.
The goal of this programme was to double the number of wild tigers across their area by 2022. This would take the number of tigers from 3,200 to over 7,000.
Progress has been made in many tiger range countries:
A 2 week hands-on training for over 800 wildlife conservation professionals was launched. These are from national parks and protected areas in South East Asia. The idea is that they share best practice which could help all the tiger range countries. What’s worked to increase the number of tigers? What hasn’t?
In India, population numbers of tigers have gone up just a whisker over 30% from 2010 to 2015
Nepal has done even better, with a 60% increase in tiger numbers between 2009 and 2012.
Crucially, livelihoods provided under the World Bank/GEF India Ecodevelopment Project led to a group of poachers giving up the practice in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala.
The Bangladesh Forest Department did a census of Bengal tigers, using the data they got to monitor the size and density of tiger populations in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.
30 Bangladesh forestry department officials undertook a certificate training course on wildlife management at the Wildlife Institute of India. Over 800 forest department officials have had in-country training.
34 subprojects have been implemented on habitat improvement, eco-tourism development and human-wildlife conflict mitigation.
So what challenges lie ahead for tigers??
Threats to Habitats and Connectivity will get worse with rapid infrastructure development and the investment in extractive industries
Poaching and Wildlife Crime Control, especially to monitor trends.
Capacity Building and making sure there are enough resources to boost current efforts and also to develop national centres of excellence.
Scientific Monitoring – results must be monitored so that the right interventions can be made. An example is pinpointing poaching corridors around the world.
Eliminating the demand for tiger products. .
Rebuilding Tiger Populations – it is vital to share current experience and knowledge on how to rebuild tiger populations.