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Biodiversity in West Lothian

Although West Lothian is an urban dominated environment the diversity and quality of its countryside and urban areas is important in the context of sustainable development and its communities.

As a consequence, environmental pressures and threats are priority issues in relation to policy and services. The council's commitment to sustainable development through its strategy adopted in 2005, and its role in addressing issues such as climate change, pollution, waste management, transport and biodiversity, are reflected in its strategic and service delivery responses.

Scottish Biodiversity Duty

Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), all public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to provide a publicly available report, every three years, on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty. The first report was due to be published by 1 January 2015 covering the period 2011-2014 with the next updates due on 1 January 2018. 

The Scottish Government published Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands in 2004 which aims to "conserve biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and well-being of the people of Scotland, now and in the future". This Scottish Biodiversity Strategy was updated in June 2013 with the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity. This update to the Strategy reflects international commitments and the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2020. It focuses on the desired outcomes for 2020 to halt the loss of biodiversity in Scotland and to restore the essential services and benefits to society that a healthy natural environment provides.

The first West Lothian report on its biodiversity duty from 2011-14 is:

The second West Lothian report on its biodiversity duty from 2015-17 is:

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