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Land Journal

3 OCT 2019

Land Journal: October-November 2019

The crisis in nature has been in the news for some time, but a dire warning from an expert report published in May ensures it will remain firmly in the spotlight.

Introducing a summary report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), chair Sir Robert Watson says: 'The health of ecosystems is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.'

One ray of light in an otherwise ominous read is that: 'Through "transformative change", nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably.' In our lead story, Dr Mark Everard looks at one of the solutions suggested by the IPBES – rewilding. He covers its potential benefits, offers some successful case studies, and considers the challenges it has still to overcome.

Threats to our native wildlife also crop up in an article that looks at the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative, which is managing to control the non-native mink population in the north of the country with the help of volunteers, as well as a handy device called a mink raft.

On the flip side, the successful reintroduction of beavers on the River Otter in Devon represents more good news for nature. The potential for nature's engineers to restore functioning wetland ecosystems is one reason many people are enthusiastic about their return.

In other articles, Liz Neate discusses how international standards on sites offered in lieu of financial settlement for land that has been compulsorily purchased can leave too much open to interpretation, while Mark North takes us through the conclusions of the Mineral Products Association's 7th Annual Mineral Planning Survey Report.

As usual, the journal covers a range of other land-related topics. But if you have any feedback or are involved in any interesting projects that you'd like to see in the journal, please drop me a line.

And finally, a reminder that elections for 15 market seats on the RICS Governing Council open on 17 October, so please get involved and cast your vote before 21 November.

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