“Nature has the answers” is more relevant than ever. Our disconnect from nature has reached a zenith that is unprecedented. Can we learn from history, particularly the best landscape practices of the past, to create the resilient, adapted landscapes that we and the planet urgently need?
I think we can.
There have already been positive shifts in policy and decision-making. We have long known of the benefits of nature: physical, metaphysical and mental, while all the time critically undervaluing it. Now, with the publication of the Dasgupta Review, nature-based planning, development and design are at last being talked about in step with growth and economic development. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals also provide a valuable framework for nature-based solutions, focusing on environment, resilience and equality.
Landscape, the framework for our lives and the setting for the ecosystem services that make life worth living, is at the centre of this conversation. Resilient, beautiful new landscapes can and should be informed by the best practices of the past. This supports George Monbiot’s challenge to the “shifting baseline” or a generation’s perception that somewhere they know and love has always been that way, with an associated resistance to change. Yet there are signs this perception is being reversed. Take rewilding and how it has captured the popular imagination. There is a real need to bring these ideas into the mainstream, to realise nature recovery networks at scale to benefit us all.
In a recent article published by RSK group, I explore five themes to support the creation of resilient environments. Read the full article here.