New UK Biodiversity Framework published

 

The wildlife of the UK, which has inspired so many people to want to study, cherish and protect it, including through the work ofUK wildlife © Ewan Bellamy JNCC, has changed in the last ten years only in small, if often significant, ways. However, the way we work to conserve it has changed a great deal. The authority to make decisions and laws which affect wildlife is now centred in each of the four countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and not at a UK level, allowing a more flexible approach which is tailored to local needs and priorities.  The philosophy, reasoning and evidence used have a new focus on managing the environment as a whole, with the true value of nature properly acknowledged and taken into account in decision-making in all relevant sectors. Each of the four countries has recently released, or is about to publish, new strategic policies and frameworks to adjust their approach.

 

In all four countries, there is a determination to keep the best and most successful parts of the ‘heritage’ approach to nature conservation based on protecting places, habitats and species of importance for biodiversity, but also to follow an ecosystem approach.  This means integrating management of land and water in a sustainable and equitable way which recognises that people are part of the natural world and rely on healthy ecosystems.

 

So, what need is there for a UK role?  A recent review of priorities has identified 23 areas of work, set out in a new UK Biodiversity Framework, where all the countries agree that they want to contribute to, and benefit from, a continued UK focus.  Sometimes this is needed in order to meet and report on the UK’s international obligations such as the Convention on Biological Diversity or European Directives.  Sometimes it is necessary just because species don’t respect political boundaries.  Often, it is because sharing evidence, data and knowledge is much more efficient and cost-effective and allows all the countries to be more successful in their work.

 

The Environment Ministers of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all signed the UK Biodiversity Framework and contributed to its foreword.

 

Paul Rose, JNCC’s Director of Evidence and Advice, said: “The UK Biodiversity Framework is a ringing endorsement of the work that JNCC, and others working at a UK scale, need to do to support the countries of the United Kingdom to meet their domestic aspirations and international obligations for biodiversity.”

 

Contact File

 

Vicky Morgan

Assessment & Reporting Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 686830

 

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