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Biodiversity Strategy 2022-32

The need and context for this new biodiversity strategy

The paragraphs below firstly define biodiversity, and then go on to set out the need and context for this new Biodiversity Strategy.

Biodiversity is the collective term for the variety and abundance of forms of life found in an area, including animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms like bacteria. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web to maintain, balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive including, food, oxygen, clean air, clean water, medicine, and shelter .

The current global loss of biodiversity is unprecedented in human history. The 2020 global Living Planet Index shows an average 68% fall in populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016.

Thriving biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems are essential for our survival, wellbeing and our local economy. We are inextricably connected with nature; we are part of the ecosystem and not separate from it.

In response to this, Norwich City Council (hereafter ‘the Council’) declared a climate and environmental emergency in September of 2019.

The Environment Act 2021 (hereafter ‘the new Environment Act’) aims (amongst other things) to halt species decline and improve our natural environment. Part of Central Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan , it sets out a framework for developing Nature Recovery Networks, Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS), Protected Site and Species Conservation Strategies and gives councils new powers to ensure 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) is achieved in new developments.

Norwich’s tree canopy cover is higher than the national average  with the city providing generous levels of open spaces, two river valleys, extensive undeveloped flood meadows and marshes and other significant habitats and species. This strategy aims to build on the existing knowledge of Norwich’s biodiversity and the success of existing strategies, management plans, and arrangements. 

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