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, and a
progress update was provided in July 2013. This strategy
supercedes the previous England biodiversity strategy 'Working
with the grain of nature' (PDF, 2Mb), which was published by
Defra in October 2002.
'Biodiversity 2020' 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
Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity - a strategy for the
conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in
Scotland' was published on 19 June 2013. This
document is Scotland's respsonse to the
Aichi Biodiveristy Targets, outlined in the CBD's
'Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020', and the European
Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2020. It is a supplement to
Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands' which was published in
2004 and set out a 25-year strategy for the conservaton and
enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland. The two documents
together comprise the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
Scotland's first Land
Use Strategy was published on 17 March 2011.
Further information about Scottish biodiversity is available on
the Scottish Natural Heritage
and Scottish Biodiversity
Forum websites. The Forum also produces a quarterly
The 'Northern Ireland
Biodiversity Strategy' (PDF, 1.6Mb) was published in August
2002. In January 2014, the second State of the Environment
report for Northern Ireland ('From
Evidence to Opportunity') was published. Further information is
available on the Northern
Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) website.
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 on
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 31 March 2014