Biodiversity Action Plan
Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership led by Derry City Council is pleased to open a public consultation on the Derry Local Biodiversity Action Plan...more info»
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variety of all living things around us. Derry and its surrounding countryside have a wealth of plants and animals and important natural landscapes, many of which are threatened and need our help for protection. Society as a whole needs to look after native plant and animals, protect ecosystems, and raise awareness of the value of our natural environment.
Why is Biodiversity Important?
Biodiversity is important to everyone because:
it provides raw materials for food, clothes and medicine
it provides natural services which give us clean water and clean air
it improves our quality of life and promotes healthy living
exposure to nature can even improve our children’s self-confidence and emotional development
it is important to the economic development of industries, e.g. agriculture, fishing, and tourism all depend on biodiversity
it inspires local artists and forms part of our cultural heritage and landscapes
Biodiversity Awareness in Derry
Biodiversity Awareness Survey
In 2008, Derry City Council commissioned a Biodiversity Awareness Survey to establish the baseline of biodiversity awareness within the district. The survey was repeated in 2010 and 2012, to meet Derry's Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) objective, to conduct Biodiversity Awareness Surveys every two years.
The Biodiversity Awareness Survey (2012) results show that 85% of respondents were aware of the term ‘biodiversity’ and 80% understood the term, compared to 68% and 38% respectively in 2010. As a result, Council has attained the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy’s target level that 33% of the public are aware of and understand the term ‘biodiversity’. The majority of respondents (82%) were aware of media communications relating to biodiversity, in comparison with 31% in 2008 and 69% in 2010. This highlights the success of the LBAP’s objective to, ‘increase the number of biodiversity stories in the local media’. Two thirds of respondents were aware of a local priority species or habitat and 78% could identify an invasive alien species, which highlights the success of the LBAP’s aim, ‘to conserve priority habitats and species’ and the objective to, ‘raise awareness of invasive alien species’.
The International Convention on Biological Diversity
The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 introduced the term Biological Diversity or Biodiversity. Over 150 countries, including the UK, signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. This convention commits these countries to safeguarding all biodiversity on earth for future generations. This includes safeguarding wildlife and habitats in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland and Biodiversity
The Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (NIBG) was established in 1996. It is made up of representatives from key sectors of the community including local government, central government, business, academia, and the voluntary sectors. The NIBG made 76 recommendations to Government for the protection of biodiversity at national and local levels. They also recognised that looking after biodiversity is not only the responsibility of statutory bodies but also of society as a whole and that its various sectors have an important part to play.
What is a Local Biodiversity Action Plan?
Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Habitat and Species action plans
A number of habitats and species in the UK and Northern Ireland have seriously declined at an international, national and/or local level. These are called priority habitats and priority species. Derry City Council in partnership with RAPID Ltd. has established a Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership (DDBP) in 2007 to develop a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). This partnership will ensure input from a range of stakeholders and interest groups in biodiversity conservation and will ensure that local priorities are given equal attention and protection. The LBAP will highlight priority habitats and species present in Derry and its surrounding countryside, and the DDBP will work together to create and implement action plans to safeguard these priority habitats and species.
How you can help?
If you would like to do one thing for nature you can:
- Register for environmental volunteering activities, for example, red squirrel feeding, meadow management, bat, bird and butterfly surveys, with Derry City Council. No experience necessary, as full training will be provided;
- Join the Local Red Squirrel Group;
- Join the North West Bat Group;
- Join a local conservation Group – Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland or RSPB; or
- List the rest of the items under this heading
Join a local conservation group such as Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland, Ulster Wildlife Trust, or the Woodland Trust and take part in the activities they have to offer.
Start recording different species you see – we can use this information when deciding how to protect those species
Plant a native tree or hedgerow in your garden
Put up a bird or bat box in your garden
Use peat-free compost in your garden
Create a woodpile by taking untreated logs or pieces of wood and stacking them in an area that won’t be disturbed. This type of habitat will benefit beetles, hedgehogs and fungi.
If you don’t have a garden what about creating a wildlife area in your local community greenspace
Visit one of your local parks and observe the wildlife that lives there
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Creggan Country Park
Biodiversity Northern Ireland