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 '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
supersedes 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 response to the
Aichi Biodiversity 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 conservation and
enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland. The two documents
together comprise the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
Biodiversity – A Route Map to 2020' was published in June
2015. It sets out the priority work needed to meet the
international Aichi Targets for biodiversity and improve the state
of nature in Scotland.
Scotland's second Land
Use Strategy was published on 22 March 2016. This builds
on the foundations of the first
Land Use Strategy, published in March 2011, retaining the
Vision, Objectives and Principles for Sustainable Land Use, and the
Strategy Progress Statement 2015', published in June 2015.
Further information about Scottish biodiversity is available on
the Scottish Natural Heritage
Scotland' websites. A quarterly
newsletter is also available from Biodiversity
Nature - A Biodiversity Strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020'
was published on 1 July 2015. This strategy replaces the
previous Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy, which was
published in August 2002.
On 8 May 2016, the Department
of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) became
responsible for biodiversity.
Additional information about biodiversity in Northern Ireland is
also available from 'Biodiversity Northern
Environment (Wales) Act received Royal Assent on 21 March 2016.
The Act puts in place the legislation needed to plan and
manage Wales’ natural resources in a more proactive, sustainable
and joined-up way.
The Welsh Biodiversity Strategy, 'Environment
Strategy for Wales', (PDF, 1.3Mb) was published in 2006, and
explained how Wales would tackle the challenges it faced over the
20 years from 2006 to 2026. Further information is available on
The Wales Biodiversity
Partnership – consisting of a steering group and a wider
partnership – provides the leadership for biodiversity action
priorities in Wales, with administration support from Natural
Resources Wales (formerly Countryside Council for Wales),
Welsh Government and the
Wildlife Trusts Wales.