Biodiversity Action Plans

Key Legislation
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) was the first treaty to provide a legal framework for biodiversity conservation. By becoming a signatory, the UK made a commitment to implementing measures into national legislation to ensure: both the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.

The following legislation places a duty on government to ‘have regard’ to the conservation of biological diversity within the UK context and requires the publication of a list of species and habitats which are of principle importance.

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) (1994) and associated specific species and habitat biodiversity action plans identifies the UK biological resource and makes commitments to its protection.  In Scotland this is covered by Scotland’s Biodiversity: Its in your hands

The obligation to have regard to the content and requirement of relevant BAPs applies to the full life cycle and to all elements of oil and gas installations of installations (offshore, onshore, pipeline and service routings etc).

Guidance Notes Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation. August 2005.
PPS9 sets out planning policies on protection of biodiversity and geological conservation through the planning system. Equivalent policies for the devolved states are.Wales: Technical Advice Note (TAN) 5 – Nature Conservation and Planning 1996Scotland:  Planning Advice Note (PAN) 60 – Planning for Natural Heritage 2000


UK Biodiversity Action Plan UK BAP identifies 65 habitats as priorities for conservation action, 25 of which are marine habitats.In addition JNCC list 88 Marine Species as priority species for which a biodiversity action plan has been drawn up. The full list is available on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan website.Many of these species are also covered by other overarching legislation particularly relating to Habitats Regulatory Assessment.
Enforcement Powers The planning/consenting authority is obliged to ‘have regard’ for the habitat and species management plans set out within the relevant BAP document(s). the enforcement powers provided within the key pieces of applicable legislation above can be utilised to address non-compliance.
Not directly applicable.

None known at present

Key Organisations:

Key organisations involved in protection and enhancement of biodiversity include