The role of nature conservation organizations in implementing Agenda 21.

Published online
18 Aug 1995
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Earl of Selborne

Publication language


This article describes how nature conservation should seek to safeguard the native biological diversity for the benefit of people and of wildlife. It discusses the issues covered in four strategy documents entitled 'Sustainable development: the UK strategy'; 'Biodiversity: the UK action plan'; 'Climate change: the UK programme' and 'Sustainable forestry: the UK programme' which were developed as a response to the Earth Summit of 1992. The main issues considered include: the response of individuals and from industry to these strategy documents; the establishment of a national, environmental accounting procedure; the crucial role of the biological sciences in informing the wider public about the major environmental issues; the prominent position that agriculture and forestry hold for serving as standard bearers for good environmental practice; the relevance of CAP agri-environmental measures; and the need for further international cooperation in issues pertaining to environmental protection. It is argued that the very success of the original objectives of the CAP demonstrates how successful economic incentives can be when they are specific enough. The article suggests that if this support had been conditional on the long term monitoring of habitats, species, soil and landscape with a specific requirement to maintain certain defined indicators at determined levels, then technological innovations could have ensured that crop production was carried out in harmony with nature conservation.

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