Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of Environment Agency
As the world experiences ever increasing environmental impacts from climate change and population growth, cities (where most people live) are on the frontline. Turning environmental risks into opportunities is essential to the prosperity of people all over the world. Liverpool’s Year of the Environment will shine a light on a city ready to rise to that challenge.
It won’t be the first time Liverpool has led as a green city. Birkenhead Park is the world’s first public park and inspired architect Frederick Law Olmstead to design Central Park in New York. The clean-up of the River Mersey is also an important example of how to transform in the face of environmental and economic change. For centuries, the Mersey was responsible for Liverpool’s booming economy, but by the 1970s it was considered one of the most polluted in Western Europe. Today, it is flourishing once again. The river has attracted huge waterside developments, wildlife has returned, and the Albert Dock has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Environment Agency is supporting the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Nature Connected to make 2019’s Year of the Environment a success. We want to draw greater attention to the many environmental, health, and financial benefits of the region’s rivers and green open spaces. This will build on our continuing collaboration with local government, businesses, and the community, to reduce flood risk, clamp down on waste crime and pollution incidents, and support sustainable development in the region.
This year, I’m looking forward to increased environmental action and events that promote Liverpool. I hope the Year of the Environment inspires people from all backgrounds to get involved in projects that build on the ambition in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to make us the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.
Have a fantastic year!