Environment Secretary David Miliband has called for the creation of 'turquoise belts' alongside streams and rivers as part of an overhaul of land use planning.
Looking at how land designations can be climate change proofed, Miliband said it was necessary to look for ways of protecting homes against flooding while improving biodiversity and recreation.Miliband urged land use planners to think more carefully about the ways development impact on the 'natural infrastructure' of water, air, soil and biodiversity.'The way we use and manage land fundamentally affects our economy, our environment, and our social cohesion,' Miliband said. 'We face new pressures that will force changes in how land is used and managed, from demographic change to climate change. Preservation of the status quo is not an option.'Miliband stressed that climate change meant land use would have to change, with more used to generate low-carbon energy through wind-farms, solar power and biofuels, as well as forests and wetlands to absorb carbon emissions.