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					COUNTDOWN 2010 READINESS ASSESSMENT

UNITED KINGDOM preliminary desk study

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COUNTDOWN 2010 READINESS ASSESSMENT

UNITED KINGDOM preliminary desk study

Contents

Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................................3

Existing national environmental policy and legislation ...........................................................................................................4 Information on bathing water quality................................................................................................................................................4 Restoration programmes ...............................................................................................................................................................4 Action Plans and conservation status of marine species and habitats...............................................................................................4 Invasive Alien Species (IAS) legislation in place................................................................................................................................5 Bio-safety measures to reduce impacts from alien genotypes..........................................................................................................5 Trade in CITES species..................................................................................................................................................................5 Plans and follow up of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment...................................................................................................5 Integration of biodiversity into cross-sector policies .............................................................................................................6 Implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management concept ..............................................................................................6 Application of the Ecosystem approach to the management of fisheries ...........................................................................................6 Biodiversity considerations in aquaculture .......................................................................................................................................6 Adaptation measures to increase biodiversity resilience to climate change........................................................................................6 Stakeholder awareness and participation ............................................................................................................................7

Implementation of Multilateral agreements relevant to biodiversity conservation ......................................................................7 Ratified Biodiversity-related agreements ..........................................................................................................................................7 Paid contributions..........................................................................................................................................................................7 Financial and technical resources for achieving the 2010 target............................................................................................7 Proportion of its Rural Development budget allocated to biodiversity.................................................................................................8 Funding for biodiversity under the national research programmes.....................................................................................................8 Annual funding for biodiversity ........................................................................................................................................................8 Funds provided for biodiversity activities in developing countries ......................................................................................................8 Existence of a national set of biodiversity indicators .........................................................................................................................8 Sources ..........................................................................................................................................................................9

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Competent authorities for nature & Environment Agency biodiversity: Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commission for Rural Communities Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service Countryside Commission for Wales Scottish Natural Heritage Natural England: Joint Nature Conservation Committee Forestry Commission Scottish Executive Welsh Assembly Government Department for Environment, Northern Ireland Government Most recent national/sub-national biodiversity strategy/action plan: Biodiversity Strategy for England

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ http://www.sepa.org.uk/ http://www.defra.gov.uk/ http://www.ruralcommunities.gov.uk/ http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/default.asp http://www.ccw.gov.uk/ http://www.snh.org.uk/ http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ http://www.jncc.gov.uk/ http://www.forestry.gov.uk/ http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Home http://wales.gov.uk/?lang=en http://www.doeni.gov.uk/

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife countryside/biodiversity/biostrat/biostrategy1 to4.pdf http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/ 25954/0014583.pdf

Strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland

Wales Environment Strategy Action

http://new.wales.gov.uk/docrepos/40382/4 038231121/118554/Env_strat_rewrite/Actio n_Plan_e.pdf?lang=en http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/nibs2002.pdf http://www.ukbap.org.uk/BAPGroupPage.as px?id=112

Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy Latest review of the implementation of the biodiversity strategy/action plan: Species and Habitat Review Report 2007

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Introduction
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, is a sovereign island country located off the North-Western coast of continental Europe, covering approximately 245,000 km² with an estimated population of 60,975,000 inhabitants (mid-2007), making it one of the European Countries with the largest populations.

Information on bathing water quality

According to the European Union’s Bathing Waters Report for the 2007 season, there was a small decrease in the amount of coastal waters in the United Kingdom that met minimum standards of bathing water quality. In 2006, 99.6% of coastal waters met minimum standards, compared to 96.5% in 2007.

Restoration programmes The United Kingdom is a union of four constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, composed by the island of Great Britain, the North-East part of the island of Ireland, and many small islands.

The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency has a proposed Sea Trout and Salmon Fisheries Strategy (along with proposed legislation), aside from regional trout and salmon plans.

The most recent reporting round of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Species and Habitats, contains 1149 species and 65 Habitats, was undertaken in 2007.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) is contributing to an European Union project on pilot studies for a scientific framework in support of sustainable management.

Results show that 124 species require only research and/or monitoring, 496 species require actions at the priority habitat level, and 403 species require actions specific to the species or to a number of named sites. This last figure is smaller than the number currently covered by Species Actions Plans. The new list of habitats contains 65 priority habitats, up from 49. It covers marine habitats as well as terrestrial and fresh water ones.

Action Plans and conservation status of marine species and habitats

‘Charting Progress: an integrated assessment of UK seas’ was published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Devolved Administrations in 2005 with the overall objective to achieve a marine environment that is clean, healthy, safe, productive and with biologically diverse oceans and seas. It also contains details on marine ecological status.

Existing national environmental policy and legislation
The United Kingdom is a Contracting Party to the OSPAR Convention, and international instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment in the North-east Atlantic.

The United Kingdom adopted a Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994. There is currently no UK-wide biodiversity strategy, although England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own biodiversity strategies. Following devolution and a number of other top drivers, the UK published a new strategic framework entitled “Conserving Biodiversity – The UK Approach”. This set out a vision and six priorities for action which will be taken forward in partnership with others and by applying the principles of the ecosystem approach.

The United Kingdom has produced Action Plans for Priority Species under its Biodiversity Action Plan. These species include marine cetaceans, fish, corals, turtles, molluscs, crustaceans and birds. Furthermore, Action Plans are also available for marine habitats, including oceanic seas, rivers & streams, reefs, coastal salt marshes, coastal sand dunes.

In 2005 the United Kingdom submitted its Third National Report to the CBD, and has also submitted all thematic reports requested by the CBD except for the one on Access and Benefit-Sharing ABS).

DEFRA has developed a Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy for the United Kingdom, to coordinate marine monitoring under three clusters:

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• • •

Clean & safe seas; Healthy and biological diverse seas (which covers species & habitats monitoring), and Productive seas (also covering fisheries)

crops. Coexistence measures are expected to be introduced by the government before any commercial cultivation of GM crops takes place in the UK, which is not expected in the immediate future.

Trade in CITES species

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) legislation in place The United Kingdom has been a Party to the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) since 1976. As such it must report to the CITES Secretariat all trade involving CITES species.

The UK has legislation in vigour in order to attempt to regulate IAS, including controls on imports/exports, and accidental and intentional releases. However, the overall impact of invasive alien species (IAS) on biodiversity in the UK has not been fully assessed or monitored.

The Great Britain Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy was launched in May 2008, with activities relating to the review of IAS-related legislation and developing proposals for improvement. The Strategy furthermore proposes a central depository for data on IAS. In this regard, a scoping project has already been completed and information on some IAS is available on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway (http://www.searchnbn.net/).

The UK has a high-level of trade in CITES species, and consequently also a large number of seizures. For the period 2005-06, the number of seizures was 741, of which 2 were significant: 220 live caimans and 102 live seahorses.

Bio-safety measures to reduce impacts from alien genotypes

National capacity building activities for CITES implementation include an increased budget for activities; development of implementation tools; improvement of national networks; computerisation; and a range of training activities for enforcement authorities, in particular the police and customs. During the report period, UK CITES authorities assisted the implementation of CITES in developing countries through support to a number of CITES workshops, development of information material, and direct funding to developing countries’ agencies.

The European Union’s Biodiversity Action Plan requires Member States to fully apply the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and include biodiversity considerations in measures to protect human health and the environment from the deliberate release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Plans and follow up of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

The European Union (EU) provisions on GMOs, namely the relevant Regulations and Directives have been fully implemented in the United Kingdom. In fact, the European Union legislation on GMOs forms the basis for existing biosafety measures in the United Kingdom.

No commitment has been made by the United Kingdom to undertake a Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as such, until an initial scoping study is completed. Due to the nature and the political structure of the United Kingdom, any future ecosystem assessment would probably have national, sub-national and local/community components.

In order to address any possible negative impacts resulting from the intentional release of GMOs into the environment, the Environmental Protection Act (1990) define the deliberate release regime in the UK as to “include land, air and water and the living organisms supported by any of those media”. This definition covers all living things individually or collectively including humans, animals, plants, fungi, micro-organisms, and ecosystems.

However, there are ongoing smaller scale assessments of ecosystems services being undertaken through a number of research projects concentrated on marine, inland water and wetland, coastal and island, cultivated, forest, heath-land and urban systems, and on assessing the following ecosystem services: biodiversity, fresh water quality, food, fish, timber and fibre, carbon sequestration, water flow regulation, climate and air regulation, cultural/amenity services, and fuel and energy.

In 2004 DEFRA initiated a stakeholder consultations process to establish decisions on the co-existence of GM and non-GM 5

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Integration of biodiversity into cross-sector policies

•

Enhance traditional aquaculture that preserves the environment.

Integration of biodiversity considerations into development programmes, and projects’ impact on biodiversity

Adaptation measures to increase biodiversity resilience to climate change

The impacts of afforestation and deforestation activities on biodiversity are assessed under land-use regulations including SEA and EIA requirements. Biodiversity surveys are undertaken as part of environmental impact assessments where required, although no particular method is specified as part of the Region Development Programmes/country strategies.

The United Kingdom is currently in the process of developing a cross-department “Adaptation to Climate Change Programme” with the overall objective of addressing all significant adaptation needs.

Implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management concept

Some regions have already prepared strategies to address climate change – biodiversity interactions, such as the England Biodiversity Strategy – Towards Climate Change, published in 2007.

Consultations are currently being undertaken for the development of ICZM strategies for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some Marine Strategies, such as Scotland’s already contain some ICZM elements, for the coast and marine environment.

Furthermore, a number of research programmes addressing biodiversity and climate change have been undertaken by DEFRA with three main objectives:

Application of the Ecosystem approach to the management of fisheries

(1) To improve the understanding of the impacts of climate change on biodiversity in terrestrial and marine environments, including through application of modelling techniques to assess vulnerability of priority species and habitats;

The intention for fishing to be managed according to an ecosystem-based approach is defined in DEFRA’s document Fisheries 2027 - A long term vision for sustainable fisheries

(2) To review and develop options for adaptation of policy and management, including improved transfer of knowledge between researchers and practitioners; and

In October 2007 a draft implementation plan was prepared, to set out proposals for delivering this vision. The draft plan includes developing and implementing the ecosystem approach to fisheries management in the English Channel and applies lessons learnt from that pilot project to other areas. A new, updated version of the implementation plan is currently being prepared.

(3) To ensure that long-term monitoring systems are in place to detect changes in biodiversity and discriminate the effects of climate change from other factors.

Biodiversity considerations in aquaculture

The United Kingdom’s draft European Fisheries Fund Operational Programme includes initiatives to: • • Reduce negative impacts of aquaculture on the environment, Enhance positive effects of aquaculture on the environment; and

One of these programmes was MONARCH (Modeling Natural Resource Responses to Climate Change), a seven year programme developed to assess the impacts of projected climate change on wildlife in Britain and Ireland. The key aim throughout has been to simulate the potential for change in the ranges of species in the face of a changing climate. Rather than to predict where individual species will expand or contract their distributions, it points to where the climate is likely to become favourable or unfavourable for them, and thereby influence their future distribution.

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Stakeholder awareness and participation

United Kingdom, involving key sectors such as tourism, mining/extractive industry and farming/forestry/food supply.

National partnerships for biodiversity (including private sector involvement)

A series of national initiatives aimed at promoting and strengthening partnerships for biodiversity are in place in the

Furthermore, there are a number of guidance documents for other sectors, including for the construction industry, mining and metals industries, the water industry; and a publication with case studies on business and biodiversity in the water, leisure, travel, pharmaceutical, oil and financial sectors.

Implementation of Multilateral agreements relevant to biodiversity conservation

The achievement of the 2010 Biodiversity target is partly dependent on the effective implementation of biodiversity commitments. The 2006 Global Biodiversity Outlook report reveals that while much progress has been made in developing policy and tools for implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), national-level implementation has been limited and lacks behind.

Ratified Biodiversity-related agreements

CBD

CITES

RAMSAR

CMS

WHC

ITPGR

UNFCCC

UNCCD

1994

1976

1976

1985

1984

2004

1994

1994

Paid contributions 2008

UNEP Environment Fund

CBD

CITES

RAMSAR

CMS

WHC

$ 1,978,500.0

$ 674,189

$ 299,021

CHF 279,137

$ 337,294

$ 209.587

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Financial and technical resources for achieving the 2010 target

Proportion of its Rural Development budget allocated to biodiversity

is provided through nationwide and country agencies, as well as through the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Environment Action Fund. The biggest single source for national funding is the agri-environment schemes (over £300 million per year). Other funding sources include the Landfill Tax, the National Lottery, and the Overseas Territories Environment Programme.

The United Kingdom gives high priority to supporting biodiversity conservation measures in the wider countryside 1 through agri-environment schemes , as part of its Rural Development Programmes. It allocates 50% of its budget from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), amounting to some € 4450 million in its current Rural Development Programmes.

Funds provided for biodiversity activities in developing countries

The United Kingdom has also increased its budget for such schemes by additional modulation, i.e. transfer of European Union subsidy funds from Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy (covering guarantee expenditure and single farm payments) to Pillar 2 (covering rural development and agrienvironmental schemes). This additional income has been used to support important biodiversity measures in farmland, including the Entry level Stewardship Scheme in England, which aims to deliver widespread basic habitat enhancement measures, e.g. for declining farmland birds.

A number of schemes in the United Kingdom provide funding for biodiversity activities in developing countries, including the Darwin Initiative, the Flagship Species Fund, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sustainable Development Global Opportunities Fund. Further funding for developing countries is made available through the UK’s contributions to the GEF and other multilateral agencies.

One of the most important direct sources of UK funding on biodiversity outside the European Union is the Darwin Initiative, is a small grants programme that aims to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of resources around the world. The Initiative is funded and administered by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Funding for biodiversity under the national research programmes

The most recent figures found for this study estimate UK’s 2 annual spending on biodiversity-related bilateral aid at € 7.2 million in 2006, which equals to 0.16% of the UK’s spending 3 on bilateral aid .

The United Kingdom has a number of dedicated programmes to support biodiversity research. According to the Strategic Analysis of UK Environmental Research Activity, by the Environment Research Funders’ Forum (ERFF) in 2004/2005 an estimated € 42.5 million (£ 33.5 million) was allocated to biodiversity funding. Total funding for environmental research by Government Departments, Research Councils and environmental protection agencies was estimated at £263.56 million.

Existence of a national set of biodiversity indicators

A biodiversity strategy for England has been developed, integrating Natura 2000 and other plans from the Biodiversity Action Plan. Last updated in 2005, the strategy includes a set of biodiversity indicators integrating biodiversity into monitoring

Annual funding for biodiversity
2 Biodiversity-related aid is defined as activities that promote at least one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity: the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components (ecosystems, species or genetic resources), or fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of the utilisation of genetic resources.

Funding for national biodiversity activities in the United Kingdom

1 Agri-environment scheme is a term used to describe national (or local) schemes in the European Union that pay farmers to farm in an environmentally sensitive way.

3 Original figures are provided in million USD. The percentage of total bilateral aid has been calculated using the country’s total amount of bilateral commitments.

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and reporting practices.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan – Habitat Action Plans http://www.ukbap.org.uk/habitats.aspx UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy http://www.defra.gov.uk/Environment/water/marine/uk/science/ monitoring.htm National Biodiversity Network http://www.nbn.org.uk/ Non-native species: Legal framework and guidance http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/non-native/legalguidance.htm National Biodiversity Network Gateway http://www.searchnbn.net/

The United Kingdom has developed biodiversity indicators, and recently published the guide ‘Biodiversity indicators in your pocket 2007’ covering the whole of the UK.

Closely aligned to the CBD, EU and SEBI 2010 indicators framework, the United Kingdom has developed a sophisticated system of national biodiversity indicators, and while there is good information on the state of development for each indicator, no indicator has been developed for the focal area of access and benefit-sharing.

Sources
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom UK’s Country Profile at CBD http://www.cbd.int/countries/profile.shtml?country=gb#status Global Biodiversity Outlook http://www.cbd.int/gbo2/ Agri-environmental Schemes http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/laf-agrienvironmental Delivering Fisheries 2027 – Towards an Implementation Plan http://www.defra.gov.uk/marine/pdf/fisheries2027draftplan.pdf Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) http://www.cefas.co.uk/ UK’s Marine Policy http://www.defra.gov.uk/Environment/water/marine/uk/steward ship/index.htm 2007 Bathing Report http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/waterbathing/report_2008.html Fisheries 2027 - A long term vision for sustainable fisheries http://www.defra.gov.uk/marine/pdf/fisheries2027vision.pdf The United Kingdom Operational Programme for the European Fisheries Fund (2007-2013) http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/eufishfund/opconsultdraft.pdf UK Biodiversity Action Plan – species Action Plans http://www.ukbap.org.uk/species.aspx

Draft note on deliberate release of genetically modified organisms – a guide. DEFRA (2002). http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/pdf/gmguide_draft.pdf Genetically Modified Organisms: The Regulatory Process http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/process.ht m OECD Aid Activities www.oecd.org/dac/stats/crs The Darwin Initiative http://www.darwin.gov.uk/ Biennial Reports of CITES Parties http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/reports/biennial.shtml MONARCH http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlifecountryside/resprog/findings/monarch/index.htm England Biodiversity Strategy – Towards Climate Change http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlifecountryside/resprog/findings/ebs-climate-change.pdf Environmental Research Funders’ Forum http://www.erff.org.uk/ The UK Advisory Biodiversity Research Group http://www.jncc.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=3900 DEFRA’s Ecosystem Assessment

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlifecountryside/natres/research.htm

The publication was produced with the financial support of the European Commission.

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