A biodiversity action plan BAP is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. As of , countries have ratified the CBD, but only a fraction of these have developed substantive BAP documents. The principal elements of a BAP typically include: A fundamental method of engagement to a BAP is thorough documentation regarding individual species, with emphasis upon the population distribution and conservation status.
For many bird, mammal and reptile species, information is often available in published literature; however, for fungi, invertebrate animals, micro-organisms and many plants, such information may require considerable local data collection. It is also useful to compile time trends of population estimates in order to understand the dynamics of population variability and vulnerability.
In some parts of the world complete species inventories are not realistic; for example, in the Madagascar dry deciduous forests , many species are completely undocumented and much of the region has never even been systematically explored by scientists. Once a determination has been made of conservation status e. Examples of programmatic protection elements are: The plan should also articulate which public and private agencies should implement the protection strategy and indicate budgets available to execute this strategy.
Where a number of threatened species depend upon a specific habitat, it may be appropriate to prepare a habitat protection element of the Biodiversity Action Plan. Examples of such special habitats are: In this case also, careful inventories of species and also the geographic extent and quality of the habitat must be documented. Some examples of individual countries which have produced substantive Biodiversity Action Plans follow.
In every example the plans concentrate on plants and vertebrate animals, with very little attention to neglected groups such as fungi, invertebrate animals and micro-organisms, even though these are also part of biodiversity.
Preparation of a country BAP may cost up to million pounds sterling, with annual maintenance costs roughly ten percent of the initial cost. If plans took into account neglected groups, the cost would be higher. Obviously costs for countries with small geographical area or simplified ecosystems have a much lesser cost. For example, the St. Lucia BAP has been costed in the area of several million pounds sterling.
Australia has developed a detailed and rigorous Biodiversity Action Plan. Also, climate change impact is feared to be significant. Considerable analysis has been conducted on the sustainable yield of firewood production, a major threat to deforestation in most tropical countries.
Biological inventory work; assessment of harvesting practices; and computer modeling of the dynamics of treefall, rot and harvest; have been carried out to adduce data on safe harvesting rates.
Extensive research has also been conducted on the relation of brush clearance to biodiversity decline and impact on water tables ;  for example, these effects have been analyzed in the Toolibin Lake wetlands region. The BAP specifically acknowledges that the carrying capacity for human use and water pollution discharge of sensitive reef areas was exceeded by the year The plan also addresses conservation of the historic island fishing industry.
Specific detailed attention is given to three species of threatened marine turtles, to a variety of vulnerable birds and a number of pelagic fishes and cetaceans. In terms of habitat conservation the plan focusses attention on the biologically productive mangrove swamps and notes that virtually all mangrove areas had already come under national protection by The Tanzania national BAP addresses issues related to sustainable use of Lake Manyara , an extensive freshwater lake, whose usage by humans accelerated in the period to The designation of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO 's Man and the Biosphere Programme in combines conservation of the lake and surrounding high value forests with sustainable use of the wetlands area and simple agriculture.
This BAP has united principal lake users in establishing management targets. The biosphere reserve has induced sustainable management of the wetlands, including monitoring groundwater and the chemistry of the escarpment water source. The United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan covers not only terrestrial species associated with lands within the UK, but also marine species and migratory birds, which spend a limited time in the UK or its offshore waters.
On August 28, , the new Biodiversity Action Plan BAP [launched in ] identified 1, species and 65 habitats in the UK that needed conservation and greater protection. The updated list included the hedgehog , house sparrow , grass snake and the garden tiger moth , while otters , bottlenose dolphins and red squirrels remained in need of habitat protection.
In May , the European Commission adopted a new strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU by , in line with the commitments made at the 10th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD held in Nagoya, Japan in The website contained information on the BAP process, hosted all relevant documents, and provided news and relevant updates. Twenty-six years prior to the international biodiversity convention, the United States had launched a national program to protect threatened species in the form of the Endangered Species Act.
The legislation created broad authority for analyzing and listing species of concern, and mandated that Species Recovery Plans be created. Thus, while the USA is an unratified signer of the accord, arguably it has the longest track record and most comprehensive program of species protection of any country.
There are about listed species e. While this number of species seems high compared to other countries, the value is rather indicative of the total number of species characterized, which is extremely large. Wetlands including reed habitat and man-made marsh ; desert ecosystems including sandy, stony and clay ; steppes ; riparian ecosystems; and mountain ecosystems.
Over 27, species have been inventoried in the country, with a high rate of endemism for fishes and reptiles. Principal threats to biodiversity are related to human activities associated with overpopulation and generally related to agricultural intensification.
Some developing countries criticize the emphasis of BAPs, because these plans inherently favour consideration of wildlife protection above food and industrial production, and in some cases may represent an obstacle to population growth. The plans are costly to produce, a fact which makes it difficult for many smaller countries and poorer countries to comply. In terms of the plans themselves, many countries have adopted pro-forma plans including little research and even less in the way of natural resource management.
Almost universally, this has resulted in plans which emphasize plants and vertebrate animals, and which overlook fungi,  invertebrate animals and micro-organisms.
With regard to specific world regions, there is a notable lack of substantive participation by most of the Middle Eastern countries and much of Africa, the latter of which may be impeded by economic considerations of plan preparation.
Some governments such as the European Union have diverted the purpose of a Biodiversity Action Plan, and implemented the convention accord by a set of economic development policies with referencing certain ecosystems' protection.
The definition of biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity now recognises that biodiversity is a combination of ecosystem structure and function, as much as its components e. At the same time, in seeking to make management intervention as efficient as possible, it is essential to take an holistic view of biodiversity and address the interactions that species have with each other and their non-living environment, i.
To achieve this outcome, biodiversity management will depend on maintaining structure and function. Biodiversity is not singularly definable but may be understood via a series of management principles under BAPs, such as:. Biodiversity and wildlife are not the same thing. The traditional focus on threatened species in BAPs is at odds with the principles of biodiversity management because, by the time species become threatened, the processes that maintain biodiversity are already compromised.
Individual species are also regarded as generally poor indicators of biodiversity when it comes to actual planning. Increasingly, biodiversity planners are looking through the lens of ecosystem services. Critics of biodiversity are often confusing the need to protect species their intrinsic value with the need to maintain ecosystem processes, which ultimately maintain human society and do not compromise economic development.
Hence, a core principle of biodiversity management, that traditional BAPs overlook, is the need to incorporate cultural, social and economic values in the process. Modern day BAPs use an analysis of ecosystem services , key ecological process drivers, and use species as one of many indicators of change.
They would seek to maintain structure and function by addressing habitat connectivity and resilience and may look at communities of species threatened or otherwise as one method of monitoring outcomes. Ultimately, species are the litmus test for biodiversity — viable populations of species can only be expected to exist in relatively intact habitats.
However, the rationale behind BAPs is to "conserve and restore" biodiversity. One of the fastest developing areas of management is biodiversity offsets. The principles are in keeping with ecological impact assessment, which in turn depends on good quality BAPs for evaluation. Contemporary principles of biodiversity management, such as those produced by the Business Biodiversity Offsets Program  are now integral to any plans to manage biodiversity, including the development of BAPs.
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Guide to the Convention on Biodiversity. Archived from the original on Retrieved 16 June Archived from the original on March 3, Retrieved October 28, Conservation Biology 4 4 — Threatened species by region. Retrieved from " https: Biodiversity Environmental conservation Action plans.