Biodiversity Action in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Biodiversity Groups

As a key part of the NI Biodiversity Strategy 37 Northern Ireland Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) have been published for priority habitats requiring conservation action. Each of these plans detail a range of targets and actions for government Departments and Agencies. To deliver these plans there is a need to forge an ongoing partnership between government and other groups. This process has been initiated by the setting up of biodiversity delivery groups; their purpose is to: 

  • Bring the relevant Departmental, Agency and non-government partners together
  • Provide a focus for combining closely related HAPs into a single coherent work programme
  • Provide a co-ordination platform to allocate tasks within and out side government
  • Provide a forum to discuss and negotiate issues and priorities. 

Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy

The Strategy recognises that natural heritage is at the core of what makes Northern Ireland special and the Northern Ireland Executive is committed to protecting this common wealth in a way that reflects the interests of those who use it and who live in it. The Strategy sets out plans to safeguard biodiversity in the present and over the next decade and beyond. In summary, the Strategy:

  • Examines threats to biodiversity
  • Provides an analysis of issues
  • Sets out long term goals
  • Indicates appropriate mechanisms that will be implemented via the the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group
  • Has an all-Ireland dimension that recognises shared biodiversity resources such as waterways, water-tables and cross-border conservation sites
  • Expects all government departments to work together for biodiversity conservation
  • Sets out additional resources that will be made available
  • Seeks to promote greater knowledge, understanding and participation across all sectors.

List of Priority Species and Habitats in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group has prepared Biodiversity Action Plans for 37 habitats occurring in the province out of the total list of 65 UK BAP habitats. These are the definitive reference for all statutory and non-statutory bodies involved in operations that affect biodiversity in Northern Ireland. It should also be used to guide decision-makers such as local and regional authorities when in implementing their statutory duties to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in the exercise of their normal functions.

Find out more >> Priority Species and Habitats in Northern Ireland