Home   Planning and building standards   Conservation   Biodiversity and conservation

Biodiversity and conservation

Our response to the climate and nature crisis

Biodiversity is a shortened term for ‘biological diversity’, meaning the richness and variety of all life on Earth. 

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. The natural environment is being degraded across much of our land and seascapes.

Scotland has half the biodiversity it used to have.

The Biodiversity Intactness Index measures biodiversity change using abundance data on plants, fungi and animals worldwide.

Development, management and implementation of the North Ayrshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2019-31 (PDF, 3.42mb) will be carried out by the North Ayrshire Biodiversity Partnership (NABP). The partnership brings a range of biodiversity stakeholders together to work towards shared objectives and to agree priorities for the limited resources.

The overall aim of the NABP is -

‘To support, encourage and positively influence the conservation and enhancement of biological diversity in North Ayrshire as part of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.’

The NABP 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

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. This includes having regard to the:

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).

NatureScot provides guidance on Biodiversity Duty.

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