Biodiversity is the variety of life and its processes; including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences amongst them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur. An ecosystem is a community of plants, animals and micro-organisms, along with their environment, that function together as a unit (an ecosystem can be as large as a rain forest or as small as a rotting log).
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is important in its own right and is an indicator of the wider health of the environment.
Biodiversity is good for people's quality of life. A diverse and healthy environment improves quality of life and provides recreational and educational resources for all sectors of the community.
Biodiversity provides natural services (sometimes referred to as ecosystem services). These are 'components of nature, directly enjoyed, consumed, or used to yield human well-being', they are key to our survival, providing amongst other things, food, clean air and water.
Biodiversity will help us adapt to climate change. As the climate changes healthy ecosystems and the services they provide will seem increasingly valuable (however at the same time biodiversity will be threatened by an increasingly unpredictable climate!).
What is a Biodiversity Action Plan?
A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a framework for achieving the conservation of biodiversity. It sets targets and actions for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity. A BAP normally consists of Habitat Action Plans and Species Action Plans. Within our reviewed document there is also potential for General Action Plans which will be coordinated to act as a conduit for community groups, educational groups, businesses and the local authority etc. Agreed actions would be set over the five year period to meet BAP targets.
Why do we need a Biodiversity Action Plan in Torfaen?
Biodiversity is under threat; globally species are declining at an alarming rate and the extent and quality of the ecosystems that supports them is diminishing. If unabated this will have dire consequences for mankind, especially in the face of climate change, as we all rely on biodiversity for our survival. Actions happen at a local level and a BAP provides a framework to ensure that actions are coordinated and targeted towards the areas most likely to achieve biodiversity gains.
In Torfaen we are fortunate to have a wealth of green spaces and important habitats and species, both in our urban and more rural areas. However without management, this biodiversity will diminish. This will adversely impact upon the environmental quality of the borough and the wellbeing of the people who live here.
Last Modified on: 05-11-2015