Thursday, 20 October 2011

Seething Wells and Protected Habitat

Legislation to Halt Biodiversity Loss


This is a bit of a convoluted article but it is important  to demonstrate that our Local Planning Authority has a duty to protect Seething Wells under International Convention, (enshrined in our Planning Law). The first global agreement to protect wildlife was signed by over 150 world leaders in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is often called the ‘Rio Convention’ and participating countries are required to draw up plans detailing how they intend to protect their biological diversity.

National Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPS)
The European Union has now made the further commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2020 at Nagoya.  All signatories to the UN Convention on Biodiversity, are supposed to draw up national biodiversity plans. Together, their voluntary actions are supposed to halt over-fishing, control invasive species, reduce pollution minimise the pressure on coral reefs from ocean acidification, and halt the loss of genetic diversity in ecosystems.

Local Biodiversity Action Plans
Biodiversity Action Plans exist for many of those species and habitats most under threat and requiring priority actions to counter losses and declines. Local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPS), have been drawn up countrywide (try googling ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ for a Region, district or even an organisation such as the Environment Agency or Highways Agency). Most of the 32 London borough’s as well as the region (Mayors Biodiversity Action Plan London Biodiversity Action Plan to help to implement the UK Biodiversity Action Plan UK Biodiversity Action Plan. In Kingston we had an emerging Biodiversity Group who contributed towards the ‘Borough Biodiversity Action Plan’ in partnership with the council. One of the target habitats was Standing Open Water and it’s flagship site was SeethingWells. This Plan can be obtained from me at alison fure as the lead on this  HAP (Habitat Action Plan).



More about ‘Planning Duty’.
The Local, Regional and National Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP’s) are a consideration in determining local habitat changes. Within the BAP is an Action plan for certain habitats and species which seek to ensure that they are not adversely affected by development. The BAP aims to increase target habitats and species within a district by:
  • protecting key habitats e.g  Standing Water;  
  • securing appropriate management for them; and by
  • seeking gains for certain species and habitats through the planning system.
According to Planning Policy Statement 9 (PPS 9) Information on the target species or habitats are material considerations in determining a planning application.

A wide variety of organisations are involved in the implementation of local plans. Details
are available at on the web. Local planning authorities play a key role in implementing national and local Biodiversity Action Plans through the planning process and their commitment to sustainable development. Standing Water feature in the Local and Regional (London) Biodiversity Action Plans. Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, 2006 extends the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 (CROW Act) on the duty of public bodies and statutory undertakers to ensure due regard to the conservation of biodiversity.

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