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Western Isles Biodiversity

What Is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity (short for biological diversity) simply means the variety of all living things in the natural world. This includes all plants and animals from the smallest ladybird to the largest whale and it also includes YOU and ME. Biodiversity provides the essentials needed for life - oxygen, clean water, a range of foods, clothing, health and relaxation.

Salt marshMachair

 

 

 

 

Why Is It Important?

Biodiversity is vital for many of the resources we depend upon in life. Without the intricate network of biological systems, habitats and species, the support systems that sustain human existence would cease to continue. Biodiversity enriches all our lives, and we should seek to safeguard it for future generations.

Children Sea FishingPloughing the Machair

 

 

 

 

Background To Action For Biodiversity

At the Rio 'Earth Summit' in 1992, the UK Government signed up to the 'Convention on Biological Diversity' and pledged to develop and implement plans of action to protect and enhance biodiversity in the UK and internationally.

In 1994, the UK Government published the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan, which sets out steps needed for biodiversity conservation in the UK.

The overall goal of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan is to "conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK and to contribute to the conservation of global biodiversity through all appropriate mechanisms".

The overall goal of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan is to "conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK and to contribute to the conservation of global biodiversity through all appropriate mechanisms".

A major means of implementing this Plan is through the preparation and application of plans at a local level i.e. through Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs).

The Scottish Biodiversity Group was set up in 1996 to guide the necessary work arising from the UK Action Plan in Scotland. Central to Scottish action for biodiversity is the recognition that the UK Biodiversity Action Plan can only be implemented by ensuring that national objectives are translated into local action with the involvement of local people.

Harvesting the Kelp

Fisherman Laying Creels

 

 

 

 

What Is A Local Biodiversity Action Plan?

A Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) is a process rather than a plan in the conventional sense. It is a mechanism, which seeks to ensure that nationally and locally important species and habitats are conserved and enhanced in a given area through focused local action.

The primary functions of LBAPs:

  • To translate national targets for species and habitats, as specified in the UK Action Plan, into effective action at the local level.
  • To stimulate effective local working partnerships to ensure that programmes for biodiversity conservation are developed and maintained.
  • To raise awareness of the need and responsibilities for biodiversity conservation and enhancement in the local context.
  • To identify biodiversity resources and priorities in the local area.
  • To identify targets for species and habitats important to the local area, including both the rare and the common, according to local circumstances.
  • To ensure that delivery mechanisms for conservation and enhancement of biodiversity resources are promoted and understood at the local level.
  • To provide a local basis for monitoring progress in biodiversity conservation.
GannetsSealsBalivanich School ChildrenMinke Whale