The quest for the sustainable use of natural resources was the theme of the 1992 Earth Summit attended by 150 World leaders in Rio de Janeiro. The Convention on Biological Diversity, a product of the Rio Summit, committed signatories to develop national strategies for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The UK government published its own strategy in 1994 – Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan. The plan combined new and existing conservation initiatives with an emphasis on a partnership approach. It contains 59 objectives for conserving and enhancing species and habitats as well as promoting public awareness and contributing to international conservation efforts.
Following on from the initial strategy publication, 391 Species Action Plans (SAPs) and 45 Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) were published for the UK’s most threatened (i.e. “priority”) species and habitats. These plans describe the status of each habitat and species, outlines the threats they face, set targets and objectives for their management, and propose actions necessary to achieve recovery.
In additional there are approximately 150 Local Biodiversity Action Plans, normally at county level. These plans usually include actions to address the needs of the UK priority habitats and species in the local area, together with a range of other plans for habitats and species that are of local importance or interest.
Further background information on Biodiversity Action can be found on the here.