NORFOLK BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN SPECIES DATA AUDIT
The Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS) has a crucial role to play in the development and implementation of the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). 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. In recognition of this central role, this paper seeks to:
Summarise the available records held by NBIS on BAP species and point towards other sources of information;
Provide an assessment of which BAP species are currently present in the county, or have historically occurred here;
Identify any particular gaps in our knowledge of BAP species occurrence;
Suggest priorities for future research and survey.
It is our wish to make the document as comprehensive and useful to as many individuals and organisations as possible. In this regard, the paper is intended as a draft for further refinement through discussion with the members of the Biodiversity Partnership, County Recorders, and other interested parties. Any suggestions regarding omissions, errors or corrections will be welcomed.
BACKGROUND TO THE BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN PROCESS
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan
In June 1992, 159 governments signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at the famous “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro. The Convention came into force on 29 December 1993 and was the first international treaty to provide a legal framework for biodiversity conservation. Amongst other measures, it called for the development and implementation of national strategies and action plans to conserve and enhance biological diversity.
In 1993, the UK government consulted with over 300 organisations throughout the UK and also organised a two-day seminar to debate the key issues raised at the Earth Summit. 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.
A steering group was created to take the work forward, which established the following principles for future biodiversity conservation in the UK:
Partnership: The Biodiversity Action Plan should be based on the mutual co-operation of statutory, voluntary, academic and business sectors at both national and local levels.
Targets: The BAP should establish measurable outcomes that address the needs of species and habitats of most concern to biodiversity conservation.