Monday, 12 May 2008

Bloomin' biodiversity

How do we safeguard biodiversity? The UK's coastline is rich in life; a growing population, pressure for space, coastal squeeze, climate change and sea level rise all present a risk to our teaming diversity in coastal species and habitats.

  • EC Habitats Directive; adopted by the European community in 1992, the Directive laid out strict lines for the preservation of biodiversity. Theoretically, the directive has statutory weight, as the UK must meet the requirements set out for the conservation of species and habitats, and report to the EC every six years. In many ways the directive has been one of the most effective tools in providing protection for UK biodiversity; European pressure forced a less-than willing government into action. Traditionally, the government relied heavily upon the voluntary sector in terms of marine conservation. Without any legal clout, the voluntary sector, although central to effective implementation of conservation techniques at the grass roots level, would not necessarily win in a fight with business, if say, that business wished to build on an area of biological significance, volunteers would not be armed with the right weapons to defeat such an enemy.
  • Biodiversity Action Plans: A result set in motion by the acceptance of the Habitats Directive, the government set about drawing up BAPs to fulfill the requirements of the directive.
UK Biodiversity Action Plans