Defra launched a new England Biodiversity Strategy “Biodiversity 2020: a strategy for England’s Wildlife and Ecosystem Services” in August 2011. This strategy replaces the existing strategy that was launched in 2002 (see Further information).
Biodiversity 2020 sets out how the quality of our environment on land and at sea will be improved over the next ten years. Following on from policies contained in the Natural Environment White Paper, published in June 2011, and responding to international commitments agreed at last year’s UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the strategy provides a detailed road map to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020 and to strengthen and enhance ecosystem services. The importance of these ecosystem services were highlighted in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment published in June 2011.
The mission for this strategy for the next decade is: “to halt overall biodiversity loss, support healthy well-functioning ecosystems and establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better places for nature for the benefit of wildlife and people”.
To do this, the strategy has focused on four main themes:
A more integrated large-scale approach to conservation on land and at sea.
Putting people at the heart of biodiversity policy.
Reducing environmental pressures.
Improving our knowledge.
Although this is a Government strategy, it will not and cannot be delivered by Government alone. Government will continue to encourage and depend on partnerships that include statutory, voluntary, academic bodies along with business sectors and the public to help deliver on these themes.
Defra will be accountable for the overall delivery of the strategy on behalf of Government. Natural England plays a major role in leading and being responsible for securing the Strategies biodiversity outcomes on land. In doing so, Natural England will work closely with partners inside and outside Government to achieve this. Natural England will also play a major role in delivering the Marine and People Engagement components of the Strategy.
A delivery plan is being developed in partnership with key stakeholders to map out and secure the attainment of the targets and ambitions in the Strategy. This plan is due to be developed in 2012 and will be used by all partners to monitor and report on progress in delivering the strategy. Defra have overall responsibility for the plan within it will be set out SMART outputs and outcomes which but individual organisations and partnerships will be accountable for delivering. It will be a 3-year rolling plan extending out to 2020 so that it can be flexible and respond to changing circumstances, Natural England will play a lead role in this work.
The series of indicators used to help monitor the implantation of the England Biodiversity Strategy have yet to be fully developed. It is possible to find out more on the technical issues and options for developing the headline indicators.
England Biodiversity Strategy 2002. England’s key contributions to achieving the 2010 target to halt biodiversity loss. It also seeks to make biodiversity part of mainstream thinking and emphasises that healthy, thriving and diverse ecosystems are essential to everybody’s quality of life and wellbeing.