Aviva donates £21m to wetland restoration project

Insurance company Aviva is donating £21 million towards supporting saltmarsh and wetland restoration in the UK, following a new partnership with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

The project will support the WWT as it restores up to 250 hectares of saltmarsh, helping to develop best practice as it combats nature loss and reduces the impacts of climate change.

According to estimates, around 85% of saltmarshes have been lost over the last 200 years.

“Saltmarshes are precious habitats that have a significant role to play in fighting the climate emergency and improving the UK’s climate resilience,” said Aviva group sustainability director Claudine Blamey.

“Not only do they remove carbon from the atmosphere and support biodiversity, they also deliver flood mitigation benefits for nearby communities.”

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WWT chief executive Sarah Fowler said the “transformative” partnership with Aviva aimed to “unlock the superpowers of wetlands to help combat the interlinked emergencies of climate change and catastrophic biodiversity loss.”

“The project will achieve this by restoring saltmarsh, a coastal habitat which is in serious decline, with 50% lost globally over the centuries to farming and development.”

Fowler went on to explain how saltmarshes help communities become more climate resilient by “quickly and effectively” storing carbon and absorbing flood tides.

“This groundbreaking project will allow us to apply our wide experience of restoring wetlands to create much needed new saltmarsh, and fund research to help us understand how to maximise and replicate its full potential for existing and future generations,” she said.

“With the climate crisis showing no sign of slowing there shas never been a more crucial time for this partnership, which will deliver effective natural solutions to urgent man-made problems.”

Climate crisisNature and the environmentNews

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