Association of Local Government Ecologists
Local Government and Nature Conservation

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Ecology in Local Government

Biodiversity: Sustainable Development Agenda 21

The principles of biodiversity, sustainable development and Agenda 21 underpin all local authority nature conservation work.

Biodiversity is the variety of life - the variation and richness of species and habitats. Specific attention is required to conserve the rare, but common plants and animals are important in our everyday lives and need to be conserved too. Government's UK Action Plan sets out a framework for conserving and enhancing biodiversity. It establishes the need for local authority nature conservation programmes to be based on good data, audits and targets.

Central government has made a firm commitment to Sustainable Development. In Planning Policy Guidance Note 1, Government stresses that, "the sum total of decisions in the planning field, as elsewhere, should not deny future generations the best of today's environment". In practice this involves maintaining biodiversity through protecting irreplaceable natural assets and by compensating for damage or losses through habitat replacement or enhancement.

Agenda 21 - Local authorities have an obligation to develop an environmental programme for their area based on the principles of sustainable development, partnership and community involvement. This provides the opportunity for every local authority to review its nature conservation work and develop a comprehensive and corporate approach to the subject.


Document Date: 1996
Last Updated: 31/12/1996

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