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Biodiversity and conservation

Biodiversity and North Ayrshire Council's response to the Climate and Nature Crisis

There is a twin crisis of declining biodiversity and the ongoing climate crisis. Biodiversity loss speeds up climate change and the changing climate feeds biodiversity loss. There is strong evidence around the scale and nature of the biodiversity crisis. The natural environment is being degraded across much of our land and seascapes.

Scotland has half the biodiversity it used to have. Scotland is 28th from bottom in the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII). This is a global analysis of how much human activity has harmed nature.

Biodiversity is a shortened term for ‘biological diversity’, meaning the richness and variety of all life on Earth. We are all stakeholders in our shared local and global biodiversity.

The North Ayrshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2019-31 (PDF, 3.42mb) details the action that the North Ayrshire Biodiversity Partnership intends to achieve alongside those who live in, work in and visit North Ayrshire.

North Ayrshire Council has a dedicated Ranger Service. Our rangers work with communities and partner organisations to utilise, promote, and enhance green spaces and designated land throughout North Ayrshire. 

Statutory biodiversity duty

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 places a statutory biodiversity duty on all public bodies and office-holders to further the conservation of biodiversity and have regard to the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Section 1 of the Act states:

'It is the duty of every public body and officeholder, in exercising any functions, to further the conservation of biodiversity so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions.'

The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE Act) requires that public bodies report on their compliance with the biodiversity duty.

North Ayrshire Council’s Biodiversity Duty Report 2020 - 2023 (PDF, 659Kb) has been based on the NatureScot Biodiversity Duty Report Level One Template. NatureScot has guidance notes to explain Biodiversity duty.

North Ayrshire Biodiversity Partnership

The North Ayrshire Biodiversity Partnership is a forum for all stakeholders wanting to be involved in North Ayrshire’s response to the climate and nature crisis. The partnership will enable members to share information, support each other and participate in the shaping and delivering of biodiversity actions in their own communities.

The Partnership is made up of representatives from across North Ayrshire. These include council officers, government bodies, conservation organisations, landowners, and private individuals. Our shared goals are to:

  • halt biodiversity loss in North Ayrshire by 2030
  • be nature positive by 2045

To find out more, or get involved, email Energy and Sustainability.

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