The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act came into force on 1st Oct 2006. Section 40 of the Act requires all public bodies to have regard to biodiversity conservation when carrying out their functions. This is commonly referred to as the ‘Biodiversity duty’
The aim of the biodiversity duty is ensure that the conservation of biodiversity becomes properly embedded in all relevant policies and decisions made by public authorities.
Biodiversity 2020 sets out a strategy
It identifies the ways to achieve this as:
Securing biodiversity’ sets out a framework to:
The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) is a key document which local authorities have to take into account when preparing plans and taking decisions on planning applications.
Section 11 of the NPPF contains several new policies specifically targeted at enhancing the natural environment, and biodiversity in particular.
“Local planning authorities should: set out a strategic approach in their Local Plans, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure...”
The Lawton report summarised what needs to be done to make our ecological networks more resilient: