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The international biodiversity context

Biodiversity in a global context

Global biodiversity policy is shaped by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. This conference was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 and is often referred to as either the "Rio Conference" or the Earth Summit external site .

The Earth Summit resulted in the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity external site .  The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland embraced the recommendations of the Earth Summit by publishing its United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan external site in 1994.

The Conference of the Parties in 2010 (CoP 10) took place in Nagoya, Japan at which the Strategic Plan for biodiversity for the period 2011-2020 external site  was adopted, including twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets external site .

Biodiversity in Europe

The EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy external site  was informed by the conference in Nagoya. The strategy includes six priority targets and twenty associated actions which address the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

The six targets are to: fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives; maintain and restore ecosystems and their services; increase the contribution of agriculture and forestry to biodiversity; ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources; combat invasive alien species; and step-up action to tackle the global biodiversity crisis.   

Biodiversity in the UK

Responsibility for environmental legislation and implementation in the UK is devolved. Therefore the direction of biodiversity conservation and the relevant policy instruments, is decided at country level. Defra set out the vision and approach to conserving biodiversity within the UK's devolved framework in 2007 in Conserving Biodiversity - The UK Approach external site .

In 2004 Scotland published the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, Scotland's Biodiversity - It's in your hands. This was updated in 2013 by the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity. This is now supported by 'A Route map to 2020' to help deliver the strategy.

These reflect both global and European biodiversity policy and targets.

Find out more about the Scottish strategy and action to deliver it in these pages:


For further information please contact: 

Last updated on Tuesday 12th January 2016 at 15:06 PM. Click here to comment on this page