The Biodiversity Strategy was approved by the States of Deliberation in December 2015. Biodiversity means the diversity of life. It can be further defined as the totality of genes, species and ecosystems and includes the variety of life forms found at all levels of biological systems.
A Biodiversity Strategy was commissioned by the then Environment Department and prepared in consultation with the Biodiversity Partnership Group (BPG) in order to provide the means to consider and implement, where necessary, conservation legislation and to formalise and structure the Island's commitment to protecting its diverse and treasured natural environment. The overall goal of the Strategy is "to conserve and enhance biological diversity in Guernsey using, where appropriate, an approach based on ecosystem services".
Aims of the Strategy
- The aims of the Biodiversity Strategy are:
- To conserve and enhance key local, regional and internationally important species, habitats and sites;
- To ensure that biodiversity objectives and considerations are integral to all States policy, programmes and actions;
- To increase public awareness and encourage communities and individuals to be involved in the conservation of local biodiversity; and
- To monitor and review biodiversity in Guernsey.
- In order to meet the aims of the Strategy, a number of key actions were agreed and are listed below:
- Identify, protect and, where necessary, enhance key habitats, species and sites through Action Plans;
- Identify key threats to biodiversity and introduce action plans to mitigate these threats;
- Introduce a monitoring programme for key habitats, species and sites;
- Introduce a community awareness/involvement programme for local biodiversity;
- Review the need for changing existing legislation or the introduction of new laws based on action plans identified for species and habitat; and
- House all the above actions into an "Agenda for Action".
Agenda for Action
- There are five main themes of the Agenda for Action:
- Conservation: Conservation includes all those measures aimed at arresting and reversing the decline in biodiversity and would include 'Species and Habitat Action Plans' tailored and targeted at specific sites or particular species or both. Each plan would contain specific measures which would aim to conserve species and habitats.
- Policy & Legislation: Current legislative controls to protect wildlife and habitat are regarded as week and limited, and it is proposed that they are reviewed. Current planning law contain enabling powers which allow for the control of development on land, and there is also provision to designate Sites of Special Significance (SSS) to protect areas that are particularly rich in biodiversity.
- Education: Measures to improve knowledge on and communication of the importance on conservation and biodiversity are regarded as essential to help deliver the aims of the Strategy. This principle applies to adults as much as it does children.
- Community Participation Biodiversity strategies from other jurisdictions underline the importance of volunteer and community support to help deliver the objectives set.
- Monitoring & Review: No strategy can succeed or be improved without knowing the current status of a particular species or habitat) and what the end result of an Action Plan has been. A monitoring and review process is therefore essential to measure the effectiveness of any plan.
- December 2015 - Strategy approved by the States of Deliberation
- Spring 2016 - Prepare to enable extension of the Convention on Biological Diversity
- 2017 - 1st Annual Review of Strategy
- 2018 - 3rd Habitat Survey
- 2020 - Develop the Agenda for Action to set out short-term and long-term objectives toward a full implementation of the Strategy, subject to availability of resources
- 2021 - Comprehensive quinquennial review of Strategy