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West Midlands Natural Environment Plan: 2021 - 2026

Context: where are we now

The West Midlands has ambitious and exciting plans to protect, restore and enhance its natural environment. We have already laid out our plans to tackle the climate emergency through our work on #WM2041, and the natural environment plays an important role in that, but this plan also focuses on how we will simultaneously address the ecological emergency. It outlines the actions that we will prioritise over the next five years.

to improve the region’s biodiversity and access to green and blue space for our communities. This is our first five year plan for the natural environment, but we are committing to a long- term vision for nature, with subsequent plans that will build on success, but also address ongoing challenges to the region's biodiversity.

We know that we are not beginning from a standing start – there is a huge amount of work happening at a local and regional level already, and we have highlighted a number of these projects in this document. Addressing some of our most important challenges around the natural environment will require a sustained collective effort from a whole range of organisations, many of whom already have established projects and programmes in place.

To understand what the West Midlands can achieve in terms of expanding, restoring and enhancing its natural environment, we need to take account of the regulatory and policy environment that we are operating in. This is
the case in terms of national, regional and local contexts. This section reviews policies, plans and projects that have the power to strengthen and enable our regional natural capital ambitions.