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UK shows ‘alarming lack of progress’ in hitting vital 30x30 nature target

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Government’s ‘dangerous deregulatory agenda’ risks missing pledge to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030, says report

The UK will miss its key nature pledge to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 unless it scraps plans to deregulate environmental protections, a new report has warned.

The UK is one of more than 100 countries committed to protecting “30x30” as a way to halt the destruction of the natural world. However, just 3.22% of land in England and 8% of the sea is being properly protected and managed for nature, according to the report from the environmental charities coalition Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL).

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Confronting the Unbelievable

A photograph that dramatizes the power of nature

Photograph by Irina RozovskyWhen the photographer Irina Rozovsky moved from Boston to Athens, Georgia, she began taking walks around her new neighborhood. She’d push her daughter’s stroller to a nearby wooded path, trying to get the baby to sleep, and photograph what she could along the way. One day in 2018, after a storm, the path was flooded. A young girl stood in the bright sun at the edge of the murky water, observing the strange new scene before her—“confronting the unbelievable,” as Rozovsky puts it. The image reminded Rozovsky of the fairy-tale trope of a child getting lost in the forest. “It’s both a romance and a nightmare,” she told me.Rozovsky’s untitled photograph will be on display this fall at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, as part of the exhibition “A Long Arc: Photography and the American South Since 1845.” In an introduction to an accompanying book, the Atlantic contributing writer Imani Perry reflects on the 21st-century photographers who capture the region’s distinctive landscapes with compositions that evoke a 19th-century sense of the sublime. In the South, Perry writes, “nature takes over everything that humans create and destroy.”Rozovsky insists that the work is not making an environmental statement. As a mother, she worries about the role that humans have played in warming the world her daughter will inherit. But as a photographer, she told me, she was drawn to this particular scene for its “serene and surreal” beauty, its unsettling scale.A relative newcomer to the South, Rozovsky has been struck by the high drama of its nature. “It can be so wild,” she said, even just down the street in Athens. She’s not religious—but when trees fall, or a path floods like this, Rozovsky said, it can feel almost biblical. “There’s something larger than us.”This article appears in the October 2023 print edition with the headline “Confronting the Unbelievable.” When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

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