Local biodiversity strategy launched
Published Monday, 01 November 2010
A Local Biodiversity Action Plan has been launched to coincide with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
The CBD event last week in Nagoya, Japan, saw 192 countries gather to agree how to tackle biodiversity loss, set new targets for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for the next ten years, and develop a vision for 2050.
The council's strategy was launched by Councillor Hamish Stewart, the chair of the South Lanarkshire Sustainability Partnership, who said: "Biodiversity sounds very scientific but it really is about very basic things that many of us take for granted. It is about every living thing on our planet and how they interact to keep our environment stable."
It has been recognised internationally that biodiversity is under serious threat due to the rapid expansion of the world population and increased demand for natural resources.
Malcolm Muir, the council's Countryside and Greenspace Manager, worked with his Biodiversity Officer and local and national agencies to put together the plan. He said: "Species have come and gone since the life began on earth but we know that the current rate of biodiversity decline is up to 100 times greater than the natural 'background' rate of extinction.
"Unfortunately a previous commitment by the world's nations to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 has not been met, although there have been some success stories."
Therefore South Lanarkshire's second action plan forms part of a chain of strategies at Scottish, UK and European level right up to the UN Convention.
Malcolm added: "There have been a number of key changes in our approach. Biodiversity provides us with 'ecosystem services' without which humans as well as all living things would not be able to survive.
"The new plan looks at the conservation of biodiversity as a whole rather than writing action plans for individual species that may be under threat.
"In South Lanarkshire our strategy plan looks at four distinct ecosystems - upland, freshwater and wetland, woodland and lowland.
"We have also looked at four issues impacting on local biodiversity - climate change, invasive species, the sustainable use of natural assets, and people.
"Only through this joined up approach can we continue to protect and enhance the natural heritage of South Lanarkshire for ourselves and future generations."