UK Biodiversity Framework
The UK Government became a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Rio de Janerio in 1992, this commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity was put into practice with the launch of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in 1994. Species and Habitat Action Plans (SAPs & HAPs) were drawn up for the most threatened species and habitats considered to require targeted conservation action.
Devolution led the four countries of the UK to develop their own country specific strategies for biodiversity. In 2007 a shared vision for UK biodiversity conservation was adopted by the devolved administrations and the UK government, and ‘Conserving Biodiversity – the UK Approach’ was published.
The strategic approach to delivering biodiversity targets
The ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework’ published in July 2012, is the governments response to the publication of the Convention of Biological Diversity’s ‘Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020’, and the launch of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy (EUBS) in May 2011. The framework focuses on a more holistic landscape scale approach to managing the environment and now replaces the UK level BAP and its associated processes.
Now the UK BAP partnership no longer operates, but many of the outputs originally developed under the UK BAP still remain valid and of use. For example, background information on UK priority habitats and species still inform much of the biodiversity work at country level and remain a point of reference for targeted conservation efforts.
Priority habitats and species lists can be seen on the JNCC website.
Current UK Bat Priority Species
- soprano pipistrelle
- lesser horseshoe bat
- greater horseshoe bat
- Bechstein's bat
- brown long-eared bat
How BCT's biodiversity work is structured
Our Biodiversity Project applies the landscape scale approach to bat conservation to protect UK bat priority species and the landscapes on which they rely, our work covers:
- Buildings and the Built Environment (now principally under the built environment project);
- Barbastelle and Bechstein's bat Technical Advisory Group;
- Planning and developement.
The Future...how can local knowledge help?
The adoption of habitats and landscape scale approach has lead to a need to ensure that actions and resources are successfully prioritised. This has seen the introduction of mapping projects and systems that will be used to direct actions and identify priority areas for decision making processes such as strategic planning and agri-environment schemes. Approaching conservation at a landscape level has the potential to provide valuable habitat networks. However, it is important that these systems are comprehensive enough to ensure that resources and protection measures are not misdirected.
BCT plans to carry out work to assess these systems by comparing the areas identified by statutory bodies, with areas identified as a result of local bat knowledge. This information could then be used to lobby for better systems and provide the potential work to protect habitat essential to the survival of the local bat population.
BCT and the conservation world awaits how the proposed system for the delivery of the former UK BAP will actually work in practice. BCT continues to keep up-to-date with the process as it progresses.
Our biodiversity work is funded by Natural England and The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.