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Publication - Research Publication

Biodiversity duty reporting: guidance

Published: 27 Oct 2016
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781786525437

Guidance to help public bodies produce their biodiversity duty report.

65 page PDF

3.3MB

65 page PDF

3.3MB

Contents
Biodiversity duty reporting: guidance
2 Support with the template

65 page PDF

3.3MB

2 Support with the template

2.1 Template section 1: introductory information

Section 1 covers introductory information and can be kept reasonably brief as you will have the opportunity to provide further details on initiatives and actions in later sections. You may want to divide your report into annual summaries. That way you can record your activities each year rather than waiting for three years. Such an approach could also reduce the risk that you lose information on activities undertaken earlier in the reporting period should, for example, the person responsible leave.

Section 1: introductory information

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunity

a) Give an overview of your organisation's regulatory role

Smaller set of opportunities:

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Regulatory role

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Regulatory role

b) Outline how biodiversity feeds into your organisation's decision-making structure, including any initiatives or groups in which your organisation and its staff, board members, etc. are active.

You may also wish to show how your organisation's responsibilities and role link to biodiversity conservation ( e.g. through direct management of green spaces, or through consideration of biodiversity in office policies)

You may wish to include an organogram indicating specific roles and/or team members responsible for biodiversity

Smaller set of opportunities:

Location and HQ, including any environmental or biodiversity staff (including voluntary teams)

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Departments, members of staff or board responsible for biodiversity or wider environment/sustainability

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Departments, members of staff or board responsible for biodiversity

Information on the direct links between your organisation and biodiversity

c) Include examples where staff and/or board members have promoted biodiversity initiatives. For example, where a staff member has set up a group to help deliver and/or promote the biodiversity duty ( e.g. green champions or a cross service working group)

Smaller set of opportunities:

Activities undertaken by staff

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Activities undertaken by staff

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Activities undertaken by staff

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Scottish Children's Reporter Administration

http://www.scra.mtcserver3.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SCRA-Sustainability-Report-2014-15.pdf

Moderate range of opportunities:

Scottish Canals

https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/corporate/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/12/Scottish-Canals-report-on-the-Scottish-Biodiversity-Duty-2011-14.pdf

Wide range of opportunities:

Highland Council

http://www.highland.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/12147/2014_biodiversity_duty_report.pdf

2.2 Template section 2: mainstreaming

Section 2 looks at how biodiversity is taken into account in your work, even where this is not directly related to biodiversity. Do you think about biodiversity in your strategies and plans, or do you take account of wider sustainability in the work that you do and how that work is managed? If so, you can consider this to be mainstreaming of biodiversity in your activities and you can describe it here.

Section 2: mainstreaming

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunities

a) Identify the steps your organisation has taken to incorporate biodiversity measures into other areas of policy, strategy or initiatives. This could include:

  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Physical and mental health benefits from access to the countryside and a diverse/biodiverse landscape;
  • Use of greenspace and its role in ecological networks to regeneration and planning policies; and
  • Inclusion of biodiversity in the design of sustainable places that provide the services and amenities for day to day living and attracting business.

Demonstrate continuous improvement through providing information on when these plans, strategies and initiatives are being updated

Smaller set of opportunities:

Extent to which biodiversity is embedded in sustainability policy and wider policies

Moderate range of opportunities:

Extent to which biodiversity is embedded in sustainability policy and wider policies and activities, including delivery of services

Wide range of opportunities:

Corporate plan

Organisational activities

Biodiversity checklists

How biodiversity feeds into internal management

Reporting arrangements

Extent to which biodiversity is embedded in delivery of services

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Risk Management Authority

http://www.rmascotland.gov.uk/files/6214/2183/5798/RMA_Report_on_Biodiversity_2011-14.pdf

Moderate range of opportunities:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

http://www.rbge.org.uk/assets/files/about_us/Corporate_Info/RBGE%20Biodiversity%20Duty%20Report%202011-14%20v1compressed%20copy.pdf

Wide range of opportunities:

Argyll and Bute Council

https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/sites/default/files/argyll_and_bute_council_biodiversity_duty_reporting_december_2014_version_3_2.pdf

2.3 Template section 3: actions taken to improve biodiversity conservation

Section 3 is where you can discuss the actions you have taken to improve biodiversity. Where these opportunities are limited, you can also identify actions to improve sustainability. Although these may not directly benefit biodiversity, there may be indirect benefits. Biodiversity Scotland has some examples of quick wins [5] that you could use even if you just occupy an office, in addition to those set out in the following table.

Section 3: actions taken to improve biodiversity conservation

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunities

a) Identify any actions that your organisation has undertaken on the ground, on your own land or elsewhere as part of a contribution to a wider project and how these benefit biodiversity

Smaller set of opportunities:

Include any biodiversity actions taken around your offices (bird boxes/feeders, wildflower areas, etc.) or procurement/buying decisions

Include any wider sustainability actions that could have indirect benefits for biodiversity

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Include any maintenance projects as well as new actions with quantitative measures ( e.g. ha of habitat maintained/managed, number of bird boxes put up) where appropriate

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Include habitat creation, enhancement and protection with quantitative measures ( e.g. ha of raised bog restored, ha of new woodland planted, areas managed to enhance biodiversity) where available

b) Include any partnership initiatives on biodiversity that you have been involved in: what these aimed to do, what actions have happened, what you believe the successes were and any plans for future or follow-up work

Smaller set of opportunities:

Work with other organisations, including charities for knowledge sharing, staff volunteering on initiatives

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Work with other organisations, including charities for knowledge sharing and/or shared management/maintenance, and including assisting with new initiatives

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Work with other organisations, including leading or assisting with new initiatives

Public engagement events to encourage others to take account of biodiversity

Facilitation of volunteer projects, including setting up of groups ( e.g. Friends groups)

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Scottish Funding Council

http://www.sfc.ac.uk/web/FILES/ReportsandPublications/SFC_annual_report_and_accounts_2013-14.pdf

Moderate range of opportunities:

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/AnnualReport/HTML/index.html#16

Wide range of opportunities:

Inverclyde Council

https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/assets/attach/1556/Biodiversity-Report-2011-14.pdf

2.4 Template section 4: partnership working and biodiversity communications

Promotion of a positive biodiversity message can be used to encourage others outside the public body to also think about biodiversity conservation and take their own actions. Promotion of the work that you are doing with others and the communication activities you are undertaking, including raising awareness amongst your staff or wider communication through a website, for example, can be included in Section 4 of your report.

Section 4: partnership working and biodiversity communications

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunities

a) Describe and illustrate your organisation's involvement in partnership working on biodiversity.

Explain if these were private sector, public sector, community or other sectors, or if they are multi-sector partnerships. Include web-links where available. For example, any partnership work on biodiversity, e.g. Local Biodiversity Action Partnership (LBAP) or Community Planning Partnership

Smaller set of opportunities:

Registration with biodiversity partnerships

Links with sustainability projects

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Describe biodiversity and conservation partners

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Describe biodiversity and conservation partners

b) Describe any biodiversity communication that your organisation has undertaken to help raise awareness of and communicate about biodiversity conservation, including any partners that you worked with on communication and awareness raising activities

Smaller set of opportunities:

Working with others who have more formal communication programmes and events

Internal awareness raising with staff

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Activities and events

Internal awareness raising with staff

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Research papers, surveys and reports

Blogs, press releases

Exhibitions, events and interpretations

Information on website

Ranger services

c) Describe any training or learning activities that have been carried out internally or externally relating to biodiversity, for example, CPD seminars or attendance at external events ( SNH sharing good practice)

Smaller set of opportunities:

Induction training for staff

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Staff training

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Training , education and capacity building

Hosting conferences, exhibitions and events

Staff training

Ranger services and volunteer days

Link-ups with other organisations and professionals

Sharing good practice

d) Identify any opportunities that your staff are given to take part in practical action such as volunteering, e.g. with John Muir Trust, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, RSPB

Smaller set of opportunities:

Option to join green team, litter picks

Volunteer days

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Volunteer days

Voluntary projects within organisation

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Staff job covers biodiversity

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Scottish Enterprise

http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/knowledge-hub/articles/publication/biodiversity-report

Moderate range of opportunities:

National Museums of Scotland

http://www.nms.ac.uk/media/772310/biodiversity-report-2011-14-for-website.pdf

Wide range of opportunities:

Renfrewshire Council

http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/media/1246/Renfrewshire-Council-Biodiversity-Duty-Report/pdf/pt-BiodiversityDutyReport_FV.pdf

2.5 Template section 5: biodiversity highlights and challenges

Section 5 provides you with an opportunity to showcase what you believe to be the highlights and your main achievements over the reporting period. You can include highlights for each year if you like, or overall highlights across the three years. Section 5 is also used to record the main challenges your organisation is likely to face over the next reporting period.

Section 5: biodiversity highlights and challenges

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunities

a) Describe you organisation's main achievements for biodiversity over the reporting period and what you are most proud of (this can include processes, plans, projects, partnerships, events and actions).

Consider the requirements of the Biodiversity Route Map to 2020 and the 6 Big Steps for Nature

Smaller set of opportunities:

Development of biodiversity team or plan

Biodiversity and/or sustainability achievements

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Enabling mainstreaming of biodiversity

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Notable species present or recorded

Occupation of bird boxes

Meeting of strategic aims

Completion of key projects

Improvement in habitat/ecological status

Funding achieved, volunteer days/time invested

b) Looking ahead, what do you think will be the main challenges over the next three years?

Smaller set of opportunities:

Operational issues

Need to set and meet targets

Economic and resource pressures

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Pressures for space

Need to meet targets

Economic and resource pressures

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Preventing further loss of habitats and species

Managing invasive and non-native species

Encouraging joined-up working

Economic and resource pressures

Delivery of cross-cutting actions

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

https://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk/media/57375/slcc_biodiversity_report.pdf

Moderate range of opportunities:

Care Inspectorate

http://www.careinspectorate.com/images/documents/2577/Care%20Inspectorate%20report%20on%20Biodiversity%20Duty%202011-14.pdf

Wide range of opportunities:

The Highland Council

http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/12147/2014_biodiversity_duty_report

2.6 Template section 6: monitoring

As well as undertaking actions and promoting initiatives, it is also important to know how those actions are performing and whether biodiversity benefits are being delivered. This is not always easy to demonstrate, especially over the short-term, but in this section you can describe any monitoring or measuring that you undertake to try to assess whether benefits are being delivered.

Section 6: monitoring

Information to include

Type of information likely to be relevant by level of opportunities

a) What follow-up actions or monitoring have you undertaken to assess the impacts of the actions you have taken? How have you measured this?

If you do not carry out any monitoring activities, please explain why.

Smaller set of opportunities:

Monitoring of biodiversity and/or sustainability

Reason for any monitoring ( e.g. for sustainability reporting)

Or explanation why monitoring is not carried out

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Recording of biodiversity on your land (where appropriate)

Reason for any monitoring (to meet biodiversity objectives, e.g. in plans)

Or explanation why monitoring is not carried out

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Recording of biodiversity on your land (where appropriate), any other monitoring ( e.g. physical conditions of soil, water) and reason for monitoring (development or to meet biodiversity objectives, e.g. in plans)

Or explanation why monitoring is not carried out

b) Does your monitoring show any significant trends or highlight any areas of concern?

Smaller set of opportunities:

Sustainability trends, e.g. carbon footprint

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Overview of findings of any monitoring or survey results

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Overview of findings of any monitoring, e.g. related to conservation status of habitats, water quality, ecological status ( WFD)

New species or those not seen

c) Have you added your data to the National Biodiversity Network ( NBN) Gateway or Biodiversity Action Reporting System ( BARS)?

Smaller set of opportunities:

Provide links that staff familiar with databases can use to record wildlife sightings (such as iRecord, or BeeWatch)

a) Moderate range of opportunities:

Describe any links or partnership working with organisations that do add data to these sites

a) Wide range of opportunities:

Uploading available to specific staff or departments, as appropriate

Data uploaded to other monitoring websites

Example reports that may help you identify what type of information and what level of detail to include

Smaller set of opportunities:

Skills Development Scotland

https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/media/36827/sustainability_report1_2013_14.pdf

Moderate range of opportunities:

Scottish Canals

https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/corporate/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/12/Scottish-Canals-report-on-the-Scottish-Biodiversity-Duty-2011-14.pdf

Wide range of opportunities:

Glasgow City Council

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=32784&p=0

2.7 Template section 7: contribution to targets

It is useful to link your activities to the various biodiversity targets relevant to Scotland. These include the key steps in the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, the Six Big Steps for Nature and the Aichi targets.

The Biodiversity Strategy has six chapters which include key steps for biodiversity. These chapters are [6] :

  • Chapter 1: Healthy ecosystems;
  • Chapter 2: Natural capital;
  • Chapter 3: Biodiversity, health and quality of life;
  • Chapter 4: Wildlife, habitats and protected places;
  • Chapter 5: Land and freshwater management; and
  • Chapter 6: Marine and coastal.

In total, 20 of the 32 key steps are likely to be relevant to a majority, or at least some, of the existing public bodies. These 20 key steps are presented in the tables below, with each table providing the relevant steps from a particular chapter (note that there is no table for chapter 2 because the steps listed are only relevant to a small number of public bodies).

The tables also include example biodiversity actions that could contribute towards each step. These actions are based on the activities reported in the first round of biodiversity duty reports. There are many other activities that are expected to contribute towards these key steps. The template (Annex 1) includes tables for you to tick the key steps to which your activities contribute. The justification column can be used to give a project title or reference so a reader of your report can quickly see which projects and activities feed into which targets.

Your organisation may be able to contribute to other key steps from the Biodiversity Strategy. You may also be interested in linking your activities to the Six Big Steps for Nature, or the Aichi targets. These can be added to the table in your report if you wish.

Section 7: Relevant key steps from Chapter 1 (Healthy ecosystems) with example activities

Key steps from the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity" (the biodiversity strategy)

Example actions that could contribute towards the key steps

(1.1) Encourage and support ecosystem restoration and management, especially in catchments that have experienced the greatest degradation

  • Contribute to management of designated and/or locally important habitats.

(1.2) Use assessments of ecosystem health at a catchment level to determine what needs to be done

  • Carry out/contribute to/support biodiversity monitoring work ( e.g. across a range of designated sites).
  • Support citizen science initiatives in public green spaces.

(1.3) Government and public bodies, including SNH, SEPA and FCS, will work together towards a shared agenda for action to restore ecosystem health at a catchment-scale across Scotland

  • Join/form partnerships with other public bodies ( e.g. green networks, biodiversity partnerships) to improve biodiversity and the general environment.

(1.4) Establish plans and decisions about land use based on an understanding of ecosystems. Take full account of land use impacts on the ecosystem services that underpin social, economic and environmental health

  • Develop plans/policies for the organisation that take full account of biodiversity and sustainability issues relevant to the organisation's situation.

Section 7: Relevant key steps from Chapter 3 (Biodiversity, health and quality of life) with example activities

Key steps from the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity" (the biodiversity strategy)

Example actions that could contribute towards the key steps

(3.1) Provide opportunities for everyone to experience and enjoy nature regularly, with a particular focus on disadvantaged groups

  • Help people to spend time in, and to experience, nature. For example, produce a guide to local walks.
  • Consider whether your client group could be encouraged to use natural settings. For example, if you work with children, could you encourage service providers to get children using school grounds or parks for play or learning? If you are a local authority, does your education department work with schools to provide outdoor learning? (This is emphasised as every child's right in the Curriculum for Excellence).
  • If you have grounds, you could allow a local community group to create a garden containing fruit trees, vegetable beds or wildlife areas. This could be a great place for staff and local residents to spend time relaxing or working, as well as creating a haven for wildlife.
  • Assist with the establishment of and/or promote community groups to organise outdoor events or festivals to take place in green spaces or local parks.

(3.2) Support local authorities and communities to improve local environments and enhance biodiversity using green space and green networks, allowing nature to flourish and so enhancing the quality of life for people who live there

  • At a strategic level, explore if there are opportunities to work with your local authority to investigate people's views on green space in their village/town/city. Find out what they think needs to change so that there are natural spaces rich in wildlife which are valued for all the benefits they confer. For example, Edinburgh's 2050 Vision Consultation is carrying out an online consultation and workshops, which a range of organisations are running in partnership with the Council.
  • At a practical level, support activities to improve local sites ( e.g. encourage volunteering to improve a local green space, tree planting or making bird boxes).
  • Find out what actions individuals can take to benefit nature and promote these to your staff. For example, you could encourage staff to reduce water usage, avoid flushing inappropriate items down toilets (such as wet wipes) or to use renewable energy. Or you may have land where it would be possible to plant trees or flowers that are attractive to bees and other insects.

(3.3) Build on good practice being developed by the National Health Service ( NHS) and others to help encourage greenspace, green exercise and social prescribing initiatives that will improve health and wellbeing through connecting people with nature

  • Set up, contribute to or help promote programmes that use green spaces for exercise, such as health walks.
  • Encourage staff to have outdoor walking meetings in your grounds or in greenspace close to your office. Share your innovative practice with your stakeholders through social media.
  • Encourage staff to take advantage of existing programmes in the area. For example, promote outdoor exercise initiatives nearby, such as green gyms or organised health walks, as part of any regular health check service that you offer or through your organisation's newsletter or online communications.
  • For more ideas, visit online resources about the connections between using the outdoors and health and wellbeing.

(3.4) Increase access to nature within and close to schools, and support teachers in developing the role of outdoor learning across the Curriculum for Excellence

  • If your work is to do with children or schools, review how you can help them to spend more time outdoors in nature-rich areas ( e.g. school grounds and local greenspaces) for learning, play and relaxation.
  • Consider whether you can play a role in encouraging school grounds to be made richer with nature. For example, they can be planted with trees and flowers to create variety and provide interesting and enjoyable environments in which children can spend time learning and playing.
  • Consider if you can invest in and encourage teachers' continuing professional development to help them develop the knowledge and confidence to teach outdoors in natural environments across the different areas of the curriculum.
  • If appropriate, provide information and links on the importance of outdoor learning in nature-rich spaces on your organisation's website.
  • Encourage schools to nurture the environment, and promote a culture of care for the environment among both staff and young people.
  • Encourage schools to plant vegetable gardens that pupils tend and use, so that they learn where food comes from, develop the skills and confidence to grown their own, and gain an appreciation of closeness with nature.
  • Consider how you could promote role models to inspire young people about nature. Young people are naturally fascinated by animals but need constant contact with nature to maintain this interest.

(3.5) Encourage public organisations and businesses to review their responsibilities and action for biodiversity, and recognise that increasing their positive contribution to nature and landscapes can help meet their corporate priorities and performance

  • Promote sustainable procurement, encouraging suppliers to take account of the environment when sourcing goods and services. For example:
  • − Use local suppliers for catering. This helps to support local businesses and reduces how far food has to be transported (reducing fuel use and vehicle emissions).
  • − Source sustainably produced meat and fish for catering.
  • − Ensure that you source Forest Stewardship Council certified products when ordering wooden furniture.
  • Have a "meat free" day. (Producing meat takes its toll on the environment, whereas growing crops is better in terms of energy and water use).
  • Find out if your local coffee shop will allow customers to bring their own reusable cups instead of using disposable cups. (Not using cardboard cups helps to cut down on using trees to make products that are thrown away after one use).
  • Use telephone or video conferencing where appropriate, to limit travel for meetings and help bring down your organisation's carbon footprint.
  • Consider taking part in international or national "days" that promote cycling to work or other actions that benefit the environment and people's health and wellbeing.
  • Promote what you do. People like to belong and one way they achieve this is by watching what others are doing and copying the action. So tell others what you do to be kinder to the natural world. For example, if you encourage staff not to use disposable coffee cups, put up notices so that visitors know.
  • Use social media to promote what actions your organisation takes to be more environmentally friendly. Use the hashtag "2020 Challenge".

Section 7: Relevant key steps from Chapter 4 (Wildlife, habitats and protected places) with example activities

Key steps from the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity" (the biodiversity strategy)

Example actions that could contribute towards the key steps

(4.1) Ensure that the management of protected places for nature also provides wider public benefits

  • Combine the needs of biodiversity and people when managing habitats ( e.g. through providing paths and interpretation boards as part of management of local nature reserves).
  • Tell the public about notable seasonal wildlife and natural phenomena and where they can go to see these. It helps to remind people what is going on and encourages them to learn more about the natural world where they live. Use local media for this, as well as social media such as Twitter, Facebook or the application that is best for the audiences you work with.
  • If your office is based near a protected site that is special for nature, you could consider emailing staff information about special talks, walks or seasonal natural events taking place there.

(4.3) Integrate protected areas policy with action for wider habitats to combat fragmentation and restore key habitats

  • Ensure plans and policies for the local area take account of protected areas as well as the green networks needed to link them.

(4.5) Involve many more people than at present in this work [ i.e. work relating to wildlife, habitats and protected places] and improve our understanding of the poorly known elements of nature

  • Hold part of your annual corporate event in a country park or national park. For example, hold a summer barbecue event rather than an indoor dinner. Contact the park's ranger service and arrange for a talk to be given at your event about the special wildlife there.
  • Find out what your nearest protected place is and organise a staff visit or team building event there.
  • "Adopt" a plant or animal that is special in your area as a mascot for staff and get involved with its care through local organisations. MSPs have been 'adopting' plants and animals through a special project called Species Champions. You could find out what your local MSP has adopted and decide if your organisation would like to link in with that work. You could appoint staff members as your chosen plant or animal ambassador and get them to co-ordinate your company's activities.
  • Consider renaming office meeting rooms to reflect beautiful places or plants and animals in Scotland. For example, Scottish Natural Heritage has given its meeting rooms names such as Loch Lomond, St Kilda, Glen Affric, St Abb's Head, rowan, cherry and willow.
  • If you have an organisational newsletter, consider running a photography competition with a natural world theme. Several organisations that reported in December 2015 did this.
  • − Invite teams to explain their idea for making a positive environmental contribution or change to the way your organisation works that would increase its sustainability. Have a vote to find out which suggestions would be taken up by people and arrange a prize for the team whose idea gets the most votes.
  • − Have a specialist show staff how to do wildlife gardening in your organisation's grounds (and promote ideas that staff can use at home).
  • Raise awareness of the natural world amongst staff within the organisation ( e.g. lunch time talks, information on staff intranet).
  • Raise awareness of biodiversity amongst the general public through holding events in places that are special for their wildlife.

Section 7: Relevant key steps from Chapter 5 (land and freshwater management) with example activities

Key steps from the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity" (the biodiversity strategy)

Example actions that could contribute towards the key steps

(5.1) Promote an ecosystem approach to land management that fosters sustainable use of natural resources and puts biodiversity at the heart of land-use planning and decision-making

  • Develop policies to ensure that biodiversity is fully taken into account when making decisions on land use planning.
  • Ensure grounds management departments are given the training, knowledge and opportunity to find out how to manage land in more wildlife friendly ways and why this is important. Consider holding "swap your grounds team" days to allow staff to meet others from different organisations who have already made changes to the way they manage grounds to encourage more plants and animals to thrive there.
  • The ecosystem approach is more than consultation - it means collaborative decision making with stakeholders and the public. It involves deciding together what is important in a landscape and managing it in a joined-up way that allows nature to remain as intact as possible whilst meeting people's needs. For an example of this kind of approach see Scottish Natural Heritage's Carse of Stirling project.
  • Consider using the arts to engage with communities. The arts can encourage people to express what they feel and think about the natural world and their connection with it.

(5.2) Ensure that measures taken forward under the Common Agricultural Policy encourage land managers to develop and retain the diversity of wildlife habitats and landscape features

  • Support land managers to share knowledge and best practice to improve biodiversity.

(5.3) Support 'High Nature Value' farming and forestry

  • Contribute to woodland management.
  • Develop a forestry strategy or contribute to a strategy being developed by a range of organisations.

(5.4) Put in place the management necessary to bring Scotland's protected areas into favourable condition and improve the ecological status of water bodies

  • Contribute to catchment management plans or partnerships.
  • Help to the control invasive species alongside waterways.

(5.5) Ensure that biodiversity and ecosystem objectives are fully integrated into flood risk management plans, and restore wetland habitats and woodlands to provide sustainable flood management

  • Explore or develop natural flood management options ( e.g. river restoration, woodland creation), potentially with partner organisations.
  • Contribute to pilot projects on sustainable flood management.
  • Tell the public about the work that is being done. For example:
  • − Use signposts and interpretation boards at suitable places.
  • − Hold community events to promote the work being done. The best type of engagement is inspirational, memorable, inclusive and enjoyable. See Streets Alive for an example.
  • − Ask residents for their memories of past floods and how the work being done will help prevent similar incidents in future. This sends the message that that their knowledge of community history is valued.
  • Organise visits to flood management schemes for key businesses in the area. Show them how management of wetlands or other natural areas is helping to reduce the risk of flooding, so that they gain awareness about this benefit from nature.

(5.6) Restore and extend natural habitats as a means of building reserves of carbon and to help mitigate climate change

  • Ensure climate change is taken into account when developing land management plans and policies.
  • Identify habitats in your area that could help mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Contribute to bog restoration projects.

(5.7) Provide clear advice to land and water managers on best practice

  • Hold internal seminars to develop skills and knowledge of particular land management techniques.
  • Develop guidelines and best practice leaflets on particular issues ( e.g. management of invasive species, road verges).

Section 7: Relevant key steps from Chapter 6 (Marine and coastal) with example activities

Key steps from the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity" (the biodiversity strategy)

Example actions that could contribute towards the key steps

(6.4) Achieve good environmental status for Scottish seas

  • Join organisations/partnerships aiming to improve the marine and coastal environment ( e.g. Forth Estuary Forum).
  • Organise/encourage staff to take part in activities such as beach litter pick. The Marine Conservation Society often organises beach clean ups for organisations as team building events.
  • Commit to not releasing balloons for celebrations in your organisation. When balloons are released they often end up in the seas where they are mistaken as food by marine wildlife. The "Don't Let Go" campaign provides more information about this problem.
  • Promote awareness in your organisation that flushing wet wipes down toilets causes them to combine with fat and grease and to block sewage pipes, which then causes flooding.
  • If you are buying corporate clothing for your organisation, consider committing to products made of natural materials rather than plastic (such as polyester). The latter shed fibres when washed that add to plastic pollution in seas.
  • Commit to not using plastic/disposable cutlery or straws in your organisation. These can end up in the ocean and cause grave injuries to marine wildlife that try to eat them.
  • Consider promoting a smart phone app to staff that helps the user find out which toiletries contain tiny plastic pellets called microbeads (which cause marine pollution) and which don't.

Contact

Email: Land Use and Biodiversity Team, biodiversity@gov.scot