How It All Began

Having recognised and accepted the vital role that the natural world plays in so many aspects of everyday life, 159 governments including the UK, signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil.

Local Biodiversity Partnerships

Biodiversity, or Nature as many people would think of it, enables farmers to produce food and protect their crops, it helps people have clean water to drink and cleaner air to breathe.  Well cared for, Nature helps protect our homes, businesses and roads from flooding.  The many benefits we get daily from nature go largely unseen and largely unappreciated.  In our modern world we think it is new technology, scientists in laboratories, doctors in hospitals and food in our supermarkets that make our lives better.  We have all forgotten what Nature does at the start of all these things.  For example, without Nature to pollinate the farmers’ crops, the supermarket shelves would be pretty bare.

Many billions of words on biodiversity have been written and spoken since the Rio Summit.  The 1994 document Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan crucially confirmed that “biodiversity is ultimately lost or conserved at the local level.  Government policies create the incentives that facilitate or constrain local action.” If the UK Action Plan is to be implemented successfully, we need to translate national targets into action at the local level. To do anything else would be extremely selfish.

This led to setting up the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership in 1996 as one of the four pilot partnerships in Scotland.

If the UK Action Plan is to be implemented successfully, we need to translate national targets into action at the local level

20 Years of Partnership

To celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2017 we produced a booklet to highlight and celebrate just 20 of our most successful projects. We also led on the production of another booklet celebrating the work of all 22 Scottish Biodiversity Partnerships.

But our first 20 years are just the beginning.  Nobody alive today can honestly claim to have done enough for biodiversity.  On our farms, in our forests, on our moorlands and rivers, on our roadsides, in our gardens, business parks and school grounds, every single one of us has to do more – must do more if our children and grandchildren are going to inherit an environment that will give them at least some of the same opportunities and benefits we have enjoyed.

20 Years of Action for Biodiversity in North East Scotland
20 Years of Scottish Biodiversity Partnerships

Ewen Cameron

Independent Member at NESBiP