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Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP)
NBIS, as part of an improved service, is now undertaking habitat mapping projects which will feed into the Habitat Action Plan process. The Species of Conservation Concern sent out as part of our data enquiry service, contain a large proportion of BAP species. For more information on the BAP process, see below.
The history behind the BAP process:
In June 1992, 159 governments at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. It came into force on 29 December 1993 and was the first global treaty to provide a legal framework for biodiversity conservation. It called for the creation and implementation of national strategies and action plans to conserve and enhance biological diversity. In 1993, the UK government consulted with over three hundred organisations throughout the UK during a two-day seminar to debate the key issues raised by the Convention on Biological Diversity. From this was launched "Biodiversity: the UK Action Plan" in 1994. The report identified 59 broad activities for conservation work to take place over the next 20 years and a steering group was created to take the work forward. It established fundamental principles for future biodiversity conservation in the UK and led to the identification of national priority habitats and species in need of urgent conservation action.
The most recent UK list of priority habitats and species was released in June 2007.
In order for the national priorities and targets to be met, it was considered essential that action be taken at local level. The Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership was established in 1996 and brings together local authorities, statutory agencies and voluntary groups in pursuit of a shared vision - the conservation, enhancement and restoration of the county's biological diversity. NBIS is a formal member of the Biodiversity Partnership and has a crucial role to play in the development and implementation of the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) – the county’s plan to maintain and enhance the biodiversity of Norfolk. The records and data provided by NBIS are not only important for the preparation of Species and Habitat Action Plans, but also, for the establishment of baselines, the assessment of trends, and the evaluation of progress.
The Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan, produced by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Steering Group, was officially launched in January 1999. There are now county-level plans for a wide range of national priority species and habitats found in Norfolk.
The Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan will evolve and in time will contain species and habitats of more regional and local significance. One of the strengths of the Biodiversity Action Plan process is that it enables conservation efforts to be prioritised. However, comprehensive distribution data (both historical and current) is lacking for many species and habitats. This is a challenge to which the NBIS has devoted considerable time and attention in the last few years.