The duty in section 40(1) of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 requires every public authority, when exercising its functions, to have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity. The duty applies to public authorities in England and Wales, wherever they are carrying out their functions, including in the marine area.
The duty applies to existing public authorities, as defined in section 40(4) of the Act, and applies to any new public authorities which are created in England and Wales. The duty will therefore apply to the Infrastructure Planning Commission, and, subject to passage of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, will apply to the Marine Management Organisation and to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Existing public authorities in England and Wales, which it is proposed should carry out functions under the Bill, are already subject to the biodiversity duty.