Friday, January 03, 2003
In 1992 the UK government signed up to the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Rio Earth Summit.
In 1994 the Government published Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan. This outlined the UK's commitment to audit the status of species in the UK, indentify species + habitats that are priorities for conservation action, set conservation objectives and targets, prepare action plans for 391 species + 45 habitats and then monitor, review + report progress...
An interesting test case into the ability of a rich country to incorporate all of the above assessments and priority setting into real-life national + local decision-making is currently underway in Oxford where developers want to build a road + 45 houses on a "green field" site called the Trap Grounds.
The Trap Grounds contain 10 national priority species and the site's reed beds are a national priority habitat.
The site contains Oxford’s only population of breeding Water Rails (a rare aquatic bird), the city’s only known breeding colony of Common Lizards, a colony of Water Voles (the most threatened mammal species in Britain), Glow-Worms, Grass Snakes + Slow Worms, several rare moths (including the Buttoned Snout, the Emperor + the Scarlet Tiger), Pipistrelle + Noctule bats, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Bullfinches, Turtledoves, Song Thrushes, Spotted Flycatchers, and Skylarks.
In addition, to the loss of habitat the granting of planning consent would also unavoidably introduce a range of threats to the area's remaining flora and fauna such as domestic pets, squirrels and other predators, herbicides + pesticides, traffic and light pollution.
A decision from the city council on whether the Traps Grounds should be built on is expected on January 9th...
Posted 2:40 pm by Matt Prescott