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Biodiversity Strategy for England 2011-2020

Volume 532: debated on Wednesday 7 September 2011

I am pleased to announce that the Government published the new biodiversity strategy for England 2011-2020—“Biodiversity 2020: a strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services”—on 19 August, setting out a new strategic direction for biodiversity policy in England for the next decade.

The strategy describes how we will put into effect the convention on biological diversity agreements made in Nagoya as well as the European Union’s 2020 biodiversity target. It directly supports the aims of the Government’s natural environment White Paper setting out a more integrated approach to biodiversity conservation. The strategy builds on the evidence provided by the groundbreaking national ecosystem assessment and the independent review of England’s wildlife sites and ecological network led by Professor Sir John Lawton, and takes account of the European Union’s biodiversity strategy.

The strategy aims to halt overall biodiversity loss by moving away from the piecemeal conservation of the past towards a more effective and integrated large-scale approach delivering multiple benefits. It puts people at the heart of biodiversity policy, addresses environmental pressures and takes account of the need to improve our knowledge.

It sets clear outcomes describing what we aim to achieve over the next 10 years for habitats, species, ecosystems and for people, as well as a series of priority actions to take us to 2020.

It is a Government strategy. However, it cannot be delivered by Government alone. It is clear that our policies on biodiversity present an excellent example of the big society in action. Alongside Government and their agencies, there are a huge number of individuals and organisations already making a vital contribution to the conservation and enhancement of our biodiversity. This “biodiversity partnership” will be absolutely crucial to its success and the strategy will continue to support this partnership approach, and to build on it.

Copies of the strategy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.