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NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT
Where Did "Biodiversity" Come From?
Biodiversity is short for "biological
diversity", or the variety of plants and animals in the world.
The word "biodiversity" came from the "Earth Summit" held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where 159 countries (including Britain) recognised the value of biodiversity to human life and signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. This pledges the UK to conserve biodiversity, to use its components in a way that ensures they continue to be available for future generations, and to share the benefits of biodiversity fairly and equitably between all nations and people. This way of using resources is an integral part of the philosophy of sustainable development, whereby any development should ensure that it does not deprive the quality of life of future generations.
The UK Government commissioned a detailed set of recommendations on how the Convention on Biological Diversity should be implemented, known as the "UK Biodiversity Action Plan". This includes lists of habitats and species which are considered to be the ones most in need of conservation in the UK. Action plans have subsequently been drawn up for these habitats and species, focusing particularly on national objectives.
Recently, The Scottish Executive passed the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, which places a duty upon public bodies to further the conservation of biodiversity. The Executive has also produced The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and a series of implementation plans that suggest ways of furthering the conservation of biodiversity at a Scotland-wide level.
Since the Highland Biodiversity Project was started in 2002, over £300,000 has been spent on biodiversity action and planning in Highland. This has delivered seven Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs), 65 projects and over 100 events across the seven LBAP areas. The Highland Biodiversity Partnership is currently funding 24 local projects worth a total of £100,000, and is seeking further funding for larger strategic biodiversity issues.