Biodiversity is short for biological diversity. It simply means the variety of life - the great richness of living things in the natural world, everything from the smallest insect to the largest whale, from the tiny toadstools to huge ancient trees. Biodiversity is more than just a few rare animals and plants; it includes the huge array of species and habitats, the genetic variation contained within these, and it includes us.
Dumfries and Galloway has a unique and rich biodiversity. This variety is important for a number of reasons. Just a few of these include:
The need to protect biodiversity was recognised by world leaders at the 1992 Rio 'Earth Summit' where the UK and 150 other countries signed the 'Convention on Biological Diversity'.
In 1994 the government published the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan, which set out steps needed for biodiversity conservation in the UK (Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group Report, 1995). In 2004, Scotland published the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy (Scotland's Biodiversity: It's In Your Hands). This sets "a framework for action to conserve and enhance biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and well-being of all the people of Scotland."
Although locally driven and developed, the Dumfries and Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) is part of a national and international programme designed to maintain and enhance biodiversity globally. The first edition was published in June 1999. It was one of the first LBAPs in Scotland and went on to win the Royal Town Planning Institute's Scottish Award for Quality in Planning and the Scottish Silver Green Apple Trophy for Environmental Best Practice.
Since 1999, more than 80 organisations have become part of the Dumfries & Galloway Biodiversity Partnership, and have taken positive action towards LBAP targets. Individuals, land managers, communities, businesses, voluntary environmental groups and statutory agencies have all contributed successful projects, large and small, that have helped protect and enhance the special biodiversity of Dumfries & Galloway.
In 2009 a completely revised and updated Dumfries & Galloway LBAP was published. This provides new targets for the years ahead that will enable everyone to further the conservation of biodiversity in the region.
The Dumfries and Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan (Second Edition) has been subject to a process of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), as required under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. Copies of the SEA Environmental Report and SEA Post-adoption Report can be downloaded below. Hard copies are available for inspection, free of charge, Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm at Dumfries & Galloway Council Offices, Planning & Environment, Newall Terrace, Dumfries, DG1 1LW.
It is a statutory requirement under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, for all public bodies to publish and make available a report on the actions they have taken to meet their statutory biodiversity duty. The first report from Dumfries and Galloway Council, covering the period 2012 to 2014 is available below:
The full Dumfries & Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan can be downloaded below, but please note that this is a large file. Smaller sections can therefore be downloaded individually from this page, and the pages for habitats and species.