Following the establishment of devolved governments in
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1998, responsibility for
the environment and biodiversity is primarily at the country
level. The distinctive elements of biodiversity in each of
the four countries of the UK are able to be considered both
independently and in collaboration with neighbouring
countries. This allows for conservation approaches to be
tailored to the varying conditions within different areas of the
UK. Each country has its own biodiversity strategy.
The country strategies for
biodiversity and the environment in each of the four countries of
the UK underpin the new 'UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework',
published in July 2012. The country strategies include further
priorities and are supported by additional measures and indicators,
reflecting the countries’ different responsibilities, needs and
views. Objectives of the strategies are generally to:
- Halt the loss of biodiversity and
continue to reverse previous losses through targeted actions for
species and habitats.
- Increase awareness, understanding and
enjoyment of biodiversity, and engage more people in conservation
- Restore and enhance biodiversity in
urban, rural and marine environments through better planning,
design and practice.
- Develop an effective management
framework that ensures biodiversity is taken into account in wider
- Ensure knowledge on biodiversity is
available to all policy makers and practitioners.
The most recent England biodiversity strategy,
'Biodiversity 2020: A strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem
services' was published by Defra on 19 August 2011. This new
strategy supercedes the previous England biodiversity strategy
with the grain of nature' (PDF, 2Mb), which was published by
Defra in October 2002.
The new strategy builds on the Natural
Environment White Paper for England – 'The Natural
Choice', which was published on 7 June 2011, and provides
a picture of how England is implementing its international and EU
commitments. It sets out the strategic direction for biodiversity
policy for the next decade on land and at sea, and builds on the
successful work that has gone before.
The England Biodiversity Group oversees the development
and delivery of the England Biodiversity Strategy, and is
chaired by Defra.
Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands' (PDF, 2.6Mb), was launched in
May 2004 and set out a 25-year strategy for the conservation and
enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland.
The international context for the Scottish Biodiversity
Strategy, however, has recently changed in light of new
international and European agreements. A new document is therefore
being prepared to complement the 2004 strategy, which will set out
the principles and priorities for the Scottish Government and its
partners to adopt in order to meet the 2020 biodiversity targets.
The consultation on the '2020 Challenge for Scotland's
Biodiversity' was launched in July 2012, and was available for
public consultation until 26 September 2012. The final version of
Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity - a strategy for the
conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in
Scotland' was launched on 19 June 2013.
Scotland's first Land
Use Strategy was published on 17 March 2011.
The Scottish Biodiversity
Forum also produces a
newsletter. The latest version – issue 46 – Summer
2013 (PDF, 2.07Mb) – is now available.
The 'Northern Ireland
Biodiversity Strategy' (PDF, 1.6Mb) was published in August
2002. Further information is available
The Biodiversity Unit in NIEA is responsible for implementing
biodiversity conservation policies within Northern Ireland,
supporting Local Biodiversity Officers, and working with
Biodiversity Delivery Groups.
Additional information about biodiversity in Northern Ireland is
also available from 'Biodiversity Northern
The most recent Welsh Biodiversity Strategy, 'Environment
Strategy for Wales', (PDF, 1.3Mb) was published in 2006, and
explains how Wales will tackle the challenges it faces over the
next 20 years. Further information is available
The Welsh Biodiversity
Partnership – consisting of a steering group and a wider
partnership – provide the leadership for biodiversity action
priorities in Wales, with administration support from Natural
Resources Wales (formerly Countryside Council of Wales), Welsh
Government and the Wildlife Trust Wales.
Updated 30 July 2013