Derry, Northern Ireland Biodiversity Action Plan

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Derry, Northern

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

Source File: http://www.derrycity.gov.uk/biodiversity/index.htm

Description:

Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership led by Derry City Council is pleased to open a public consultation on the Derry Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

Derry City Council is pleased to launch Wildlife Action in Derry~Londonderry 2008-2013, Derry~Londonderry's Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

You can download the document here (6mb PDF)

What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variety of all living things around us. Derry and its surrounding countryside have a wealth of plants and animals and important natural landscapes, many of which are threatened and need our help for protection. Society as a whole needs to look after native plant and animals, protect ecosystems, and raise awareness of the value of our natural environment.

Why is Biodiversity Important?
Biodiversity is important to everyone because:

  • it provides raw materials for food, clothes and medicine
  • it provides natural services which give us clean water and clean air
  • it improves our quality of life and promotes healthy living
  • exposure to nature can even improve our children’s self-confidence and emotional development
  • it is important to the economic development of industries, e.g. agriculture, fishing, and tourism all depend on biodiversity
  • it inspires local artists and forms part of our cultural heritage and landscapes

Biodiversity Awareness in Derry
Derry City Council on behalf of the Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership commissioned a survey of the awareness and understanding of the term biodiversity in the council area. This was a small survey but the results were interesting. It was found that while 34% of the total respondents were aware of the term biodiversity, only 12% of the total respondents understood what the term meant. However, when the term ‘biodiversity’ was explained to all respondents, 76% felt that biodiversity is important to their lives. This is very positive and 52% were concerned to hear of the decline of biodiversity in Northern Ireland. Many respondents demonstrated a willingness and enthusiasm to take actions that will benefit biodiversity although this was predominately limited to feeding the birds in winter, (62%) and wildlife friendly gardening (53%). Find out more by downloading the survey report (1.2mb Word).

The International Convention on Biological Diversity
The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 introduced the term Biological Diversity or Biodiversity. Over 150 countries, including the UK, signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. This convention commits these countries to safeguarding all biodiversity on earth for future generations. This includes safeguarding wildlife and habitats in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland and Biodiversity
The Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (NIBG) was established in 1996. It is made up of representatives from key sectors of the community including local government, central government, business, academia, and the voluntary sectors. The NIBG made 76 recommendations to Government for the protection of biodiversity at national and local levels. They also recognised that looking after biodiversity is not only the responsibility of statutory bodies but also of society as a whole and that its various sectors have an important part to play.

What is a Local Biodiversity Action Plan?
A number of habitats and species in the UK and Northern Ireland have seriously declined at an international, national and/or local level. These are called priority habitats and priority species. Derry City Council in partnership with RAPID Ltd. has established a Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership (DDBP) in 2007 to develop a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). This partnership will ensure input from a range of stakeholders and interest groups in biodiversity conservation and will ensure that local priorities are given equal attention and protection. The LBAP will highlight priority habitats and species present in Derry and its surrounding countryside, and the DDBP will work together to create and implement action plans to safeguard these priority habitats and species.

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