Some Principles for Delivery in BDAs
Each BDA will adopt a variety of different approaches to planning, engagement and delivery. Sharing best practice and successes, alongside the lessons learnt, will be crucial to make best use of resources and achieve the kind of progress required if we are to secure and rebuild biodiversity in the SW initially. We have identified a number of areas that need improvement or offer opportunities for us to become more effective at delivery:
- Collaborative working
Too often the effectiveness of biodiversity delivery is hampered by projects developed in isolation or through ineffective partnership working. Collaborative working is essential, with potential partners coming together prior to project inception to pool resources and objectives to help achieve better outcomes. These collaborations need to be broad and include all of those with an interest in the BDA and especially those who can work together to deliver environmental, social and economic outcomes. Each of these collaborations will need to develop a sense of trust and openness to be effective and to develop mutually beneficial outcomes. Collaborations should include all of those with an interest - the local community, landowners, Local Authorities working with Local Biodiversity Partnerships, charities and public bodies who can help facilitate delivery. Working in this way will also help access essential resources and foster collaborations that enrich local communities, boost local economies and their linkages to their neighbours and their environment, both at land and at sea.
- Finding the time and money for successful delivery
Lack of money and staff/people is a well recognised constraint in wildlife projects. A co-ordinated approach amongst different partners to agree priorities and a funding/resources implementation plan will help overcome this. This should identify the skills and funds needed to achieve project objectives, and then resources and organisational aims should be pooled to identify the best solutions to overcome these constraints; be that joint funding bids, sharing of skilled, or staff. New ways of working together will have to be forged to secure better resources for all. It is also essential that we become better at using the resources and tools available.
- Wider Public Benefits from the natural environment
The restoration/delivery of 'ecosystem services' will be a central element of the Biodiversity Delivery Areas identified in this plan. We will help develop ways of measuring objectively and demonstrating the benefits that improvements to nature conservation can provide to ecosystem services - for example, positive impacts on diffuse pollution, soil conservation, flood alleviation, public access, and recreation.
We want to ensure that benefits delivered in these areas are sustainable into the future, and are beneficial to biodiversity, local people and the economy. We want projects which work across the board to identify common solutions with local communities, landowners and businesses that create dynamic collaborations and projects which respond to local needs to create sustainable solutions. For example long term grazing is needed to manage grassland habitats, and to ensure this a market value needs to be secured for the products of the grazing animals needed to do this. Local woodfuel markets are another example of where economic drivers and biodiversity aims can come together; it must be central to delivery to help build these mechanisms into early project development. Financial stability is also a factor in securing long term change, for example Agri-environment schemes provide a mechanism to pay for conservation measures. We need to work together to identify mechanisms to retain these benefits.
- Collaboration with Local landowners, managers and tenants
Landowners, land managers and tenants are core to the success of this plan, and to the positive management of the environment of the SW. It is essential that the landowning community is an early partner in any landscape scale delivery project. We must have a more proactive approach to delivery, and to do this we see landowners as integral to the development of projects and shaping successful delivery on the ground. We want projects that help deliver economic outcomes for landowners helping businesses to respond to new opportunities whilst delivering positive wildlife benefits.
- the act of working with another or others on a joint project
- something created by working jointly with another or others
- Biodiversity doesn't stop at urban boundaries
Towns, cities and villages are as important to wildlife as rural areas, and for many species have become a refuge. Green Infrastructure (GI) planning provides a useful tool in shaping how biodiversity can be enhanced in urban areas alongside other infrastructures. GI is the network of natural environmental components and green and blue spaces that lies within and between the South West's cities, towns and villages which provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits and values.GI offers a strategic approach to planning and lends itself well to delivery at a landscape scale. (Source: Green Infrastructure Web Portal http://www.ginsw.org.uk). The delivery of BDAs and GI are mutually beneficial and will help bridge the perceived gap between urban and rural delivery and should form part of the debate and tools available for delivering BDAs.