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A Local Authority Performance Indicator for - Natural England

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					A Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

David Knight
NI 197
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity


Background

•   Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

•   end of Comprehensive Performance Assessment of Local
    Authorities

•   introduction of Local Strategic Partnerships and Local Area
    Agreements

•   1200 LA performance indicators replaced by c. 200 national
    indicators of Local Authority performance

•   LAAs to include 35 improvement targets
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

Why have a Local Authority Performance Indicator for
  Biodiversity

    Local Authorities have a responsibility for biodiversity
    Biodiversity is a significant area of activity for Local
     Authorities
    LA performance for biodiversity would not be reflected
     within another LA performance indicator
    Performance Indicator for biodiversity would be a
     meaningful indicator for performance relating to wider
     environmental quality
    A biodiversity indicator could reflect performance in
     number of areas of service delivery
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

Why have a Local Authority Performance Indicator for
  Biodiversity

    risk and consequences of not having one
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity


Is it possible to develop an indicator of Local Authority
    performance for biodiversity?

    Biodiversity performance is measurable and that a
     single measure can be derived as an effective surrogate
     to reporting all activity for biodiversity
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity


Is it possible to develop an indicator of Local Authority
    performance for biodiversity?

   The proposed indicator would comply with the criteria..
       Measurable
       Outcome focussed
       Relevant
       Reliable/comparable over time
       Attributable to Local Authority
       Not act as a perverse incentive
       Not impose significant cost implications
       Must not be a ‘composite’ indicator
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

Potential indicators

• SSSI condition within area of Local Authority

• Proportion of Local Authority owned/controlled land managed for
  biodiversity

• Impact of development control decisions on biodiversity

• Provision of accessible greenspace

• Farmland/ woodland bird populations

• Delivering biodiversity through Local Sites
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity


Delivery of biodiversity through Local Sites

        Measurable
       ? Outcome focussed
        Relevant
        Reliable/comparable over time
        Attributable to Local Authority
        Not act as a perverse incentive
        Not impose significant cost implications
        Not a composite indicator
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

Local Sites

   • More than 37,000 Local Sites delivering UK and Local
     BAP and GAP targets
   • Comprehensive rather than representative suite of sites
   • Part of networks provide buffering and connectivity
     contributing to resilience to climate change
   • Represent local character and distinctiveness
   • Contribute to quality of life and well-being, providing
     opportunities for appreciation of nature, research and
     education
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

Local Sites

   • ‘Grass-roots’ designation
   • recognised in national guidance
   • partnership of Government, voluntary and private
     sectors
   • leadership role for Local Authorities
   • extensive national coverage
   • well-established, good track record
Local Sites Guidance
one of three pillars of local partnership


                Local Sites




                                      Local
       Local                         BAP/GAP
      Records
      Centre
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity

  •   Performance is a simple percentage calculated as follows….



      X/Y x 100 = %

      where..   X is the number of sites in the LA area where positive
                conservation management is being or has been
                implemented during the last five years.
                Y is the total number of Local Sites within the LAs
                administrative area at the time of reporting.
Assessing ‘positive conservation management’



•Management Plan – a plan has been written and has been/is
being implemented

•Management Schemes - the site is being managed in
accordance with an environmental management scheme such as
Environmental Stewardship, Countryside Stewardship, Woodland
Grant Scheme

•Biodiversity Action Plan - management activity carried out in
accordance with a Biodiversity Action Plan, including HAP, SAP, LBAP
(or GAP where relevant)

•Advice – advice on conservation management has been provided
by the local sites partnership and has been/is being acted upon
Assessing ‘positive conservation management’



  How much of site needs to be managed?

  – A site should score if the management is considered
    substantive and contributes to the conservation of the
    features for which the site was selected.

  – Management should be at a level or rate in order to
    conserve the features in the long-term
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - are geological sites included?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




Some common questions.....

- is there a fixed proportion of a site which should
  be covered by a Management Scheme for it to be
  considered to be in positive management?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - are there any circumstances where non-
    intervention can score as positive management?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - what is the role of Local Sites Partnerships?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - can a site score where a management scheme has
    expired within the last five years?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - do Districts report against this indicator?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - does the assessment include only Local Sites
    owned by local authorities?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - What audit trail is required to indicate that a site
   is in positive management?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - is evidence gathered by desk-based means
    sufficient?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - is it essential for management to relate to a plan
    of some kind?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - can the indicator be based on a sample of Local
    Sites in the local authority area?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - are Local Nature Reserves or SSSIs required to be
    included in the indicator?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - will there be an opportunity to provide contextual
   information when reporting against this indicator
   on the Data Hub?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - what happens when the number of sites in a local
   authority’s area changes, for example, if new
   sites are identified and designated?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 Some common questions.....

 - for local authorities who did not select NI 197 for
    their LAAs, is there an obligation to deliver
    progress against NI 197 or simply to report?
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity


Successes

• secured a national indicator for Local Authority performance for
  Biodiversity

• 26 Local Area Agreements have improvement targets based on NI
  197

• catalyst to promote join up between LBAPs, Local Sites, LRCs

• greater engagement between Defra, GOs, LAs, WTs and others
  over biodiversity

• a means of demonstrating commitment toward s40 duty
Local Authority Performance Indicator for
Biodiversity




 For more information.....

 http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localgovindic
   ators/ni197.htm

 Duncan.williams@defra.gsi.gov.uk
 David.knight@naturalengland.org.uk
                          Thank you

David Knight,
Team Leader, Biodiversity, Plants and Fungi
Natural England,
Bullring House
Northgate
Wakefield
WF1 3BJ

david.knight@naturalengland.org.uk

				
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