What is Biodiversity and why is it important?
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth. Locally, it is the variety of wildlife species and habitats that occur all around us.
Biodiversity touches and influences all aspects of the quality of our lives, from the common birds and animals that visit our garden to the rare and endangered plants and animals we may never have seen or heard about; all represent our biodiversity and all are equally important.
The conservation of biodiversity is one of the most crucial issues facing our planet today. The rate of habitat destruction across the world is alarming.
The loss of a single species in the world is a loss that cannot be replaced.
We obtain our food, fuel, medicines, cosmetics and construction materials from diverse, healthy and balanced ecosystems. As our demands on finite natural resources increase, our life-support systems are damaged causing the extinction of species, loss of habitats, pollution and the world's climate to be seriously affected.
Nationally, our stewardship of the natural environment has fallen far short of that required to ensure the survival of some of our more precious habitats and species. Increasing demands on natural systems, the pressures exerted by development, the intensification of agricultural production, together with simple neglect, all contribute to the decline in the quantity, diversity and quality of our natural environments.
The natural environment and the species and habitats that constitute the variety of life, our biodiversity, are under threat as never before.
The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 placed a duty on all local authorities to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in exercising their functions.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA, in 2007 published, Guidance for Local Authorities on Implementing the Biodiversity Duty. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/biodiversity-duty-public-authority-duty-to-have-regard-to-conserving-biodiversity
The council published its biodiversity action plan in 2006 to reflect national biodiversity priorities locally.