Following an audit of the county’s biodiversity resource, the first South Lanarkshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan was produced in 2003. The Plan was revised in 2010 and the South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Strategy now runs until 2015. The revised plan went through a full Strategic Environmental Assessment and public consultation process. The associated documents can be accessed here.
The previous South Lanarkshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan took the form of a series of species and habitat action plans. Whilst this arrangement allowed for targeted actions on a suite of priority species, it also generated a large number of specific actions, many of which were unachievable or immeasurable.
In contrast, this LBAP takes an ecosystem based approach, similar to the Scottish Biodiversity Implementation Plans and defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity as:
“a strategy for the integrated management of land, air, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way, and which recognises that people with their cultural and varied social needs, are an integral part of ecosystems.”
An ecosystem approach aims to protect individual species and habitats by conserving the whole of the environment in which they are found. This benefits not only wildlife, but humans too, through the maintenance of ecosystem services.
The structure of the South Lanarkshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) was revised to reflect changes in national and international biodiversity processes. The LBAP is now composed of a number of documents which reflect the different scales at which biodiversity conservation work operates. Delivery of the LBAP, progress towards the targets and projects are regularly monitored. An annual report is produced every spring, can be found in the here.