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15 May 2002
CAITHNESS AND SUTHERLAND TO PILOT LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLANNING
See Highland Biodiversity Pages set up 16 May 2002
Caithness and Sutherland will pilot a new process aimed at improving biodiversity in the North this summer. The process will involve the production of local biodiversity action plans as well as a series of awareness raising events and practical works to improve the diversity of the flora and fauna in the two areas.
To get the ball rolling, more than 100 people have been invited to attend biodiversity workshops in Thurso and Lairg. The workshops will help identify locally important habitats and species, and list key issues and opportunities for their continued survival or enhancement.
Thereafter, local groups will be asked to oversee the production of the plans, run the awareness-raising events, and start work on a number of practical works aimed at enhancing the biodiversity of the North. The events will be targeted at small communities that express an interest in finding out more about their own environment.
The plans will be non-technical booklets, which, together with plans for the other areas, will provide a strategy for future biodiversity work in Highland.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council's Sustainable Development Select Committee said: "The workshops are just the start. They will be followed by local events and works through the summer, and we hope the plans will be produced by late autumn.
"The emphasis is on action - the plans will tell us what people value most from their local environment, and give us a list of practical ideas on which to focus our attentions in the future. We're also looking for projects to get off the ground this summer, and we have a small implementation fund to support community-based biodiversity projects."
Part funded by the Highlands and Islands Special Transitional Programme, the Highland Biodiversity Project contributes to Local Agenda 21, an initiative to promote sustainable development backed by The Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise and the RSPB.
Anyone interested in getting involved should
contact Janet Bromham, Highland Biodiversity Project Officer at The
Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on 01463 702274,