Anticipating England’s Biodiversity Strategy

England’s Biodiversity Strategy is due to be released this month, outlining how England will meet its international environmental commitments. It is expected to detail future plans for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) across the country in order to meet agreed biodiversity targets.

The new Biodiversity Strategy follows the 2010 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting held in Nagoya, Japan. At which, the parties agreed on a new international framework – the Strategic Plan, to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystems, with deals labeled ‘historic’ by the Natural Environment White Paper.

Japans negotiations also unveiled a new global vision; that ‘by 2050, biodiversity will be valued, conserved, restored and widely used maintaining ecosystem service, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people’. The conference set an additional short term mission target; to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020. In order to achieve this, parties agreed on 20 ambitious but realistic targets, and 5 strategic goals. These included the sustainable management of all future fish stocks, ensuring biodiversity conservation on land managed for forestry and agriculture, and commitments to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020.

The Strategic Plan emphasized the need for urgent and appropriate action, effective policy and evidence based decision making, requesting that all member states develop a strategy in line with the plans targets in order to proceed. England’s Biodiversity Strategy is expected this month, followed shortly by those submitted by the devolved administrations.