Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Kent Nature Partnership Biodiversity Strategy (the Strategy) sets out the contribution the county of Kent can make to the Government’s ambition to “leave our environment in a better state than we found it” and the further aspirations set out in its 25 Year Environment Plan, A Green Future (2018). The Kent Biodiversity Strategy aims to help steer the collective action of conservationists, government, business and individuals to work in partnership so that the county’s natural landscape can be restored, and threatened species can be saved.
The Strategy aims to deliver, over a 25-year period, the maintenance, restoration and creation of habitats that are thriving with wildlife and plants, ensuring the county’s terrestrial, freshwater, intertidal and marine environments regain and retain good health. It looks to protect and recover threatened species and enhance the wildlife habitats that are particularly important in Kent. It also aims to provide a natural environment that inspires citizen engagement and is well used and appreciated, so that the mental and physical health benefits of such a connection can be realised by the people of Kent.
These aims will be achieved through the delivery of the following goals in Kent for 2045:
· A rich and growing terrestrial biodiversity, underpinned by more resilient and coherent ecological networks and healthy, well-functioning ecosystems.
· Clean, plentiful and biologically diverse freshwater and intertidal ecosystems underpinned by implementation of a catchment-based approach.
· A reverse in the loss of marine biodiversity and delivering clean, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas through good management.
· The widest possible range of ages and backgrounds will be benefiting from the mental and physical health benefits of the natural environment; and we will have inspired the next generation to take on guardianship of the county’s biodiversity.
Action is steered by a broad spectrum of ambitious objectives. In addition, the Strategy includes priority habitats and species, the restoration of which, can play a significant part. The Strategy also looks to further work addressing overarching considerations affecting biodiversity recovery including wilding, climate change, natural solutions, soil health and invasive species.
The Strategy was prepared for the Kent Nature Partnership by Kent County Council and the Kent Wildlife Trust under the guidance of a Task and Finish Group, comprising members of the Kent Nature Partnership.
Following stakeholder engagement and a formal consultation process in 2019, the Strategy was approved by the Kent Nature Partnership on 28th February 2020. It is now with the Kent Nature Partnership’s partners for adoption or endorsement.
The Strategy supports the Council’s Strategic Outcome of “Kent communities feel the benefits of economic growth by being in-work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life” by helping to support a physical and natural environment that is protected, enhanced and can be enjoyed. The Strategy will also contribute to a good quality of life and, through local plans, will help steer well planned housing growth. The review is backed by an Equality Impact Assessment.
It is considered that the Kent Biodiversity Strategy can be adopted by KCC. It is not anticipated that the Strategy will place any new financial burdens on the authority in terms of its implementation. Rather it will influence the way it delivers its services and capital works, and, potentially, where it may direct resources and investment in the future.
As Cabinet Member for Environment, I agree to Kent County Council’s formal adoption of the Kent Nature Partnership Biodiversity Strategy 2020-2045.
Publication date: 27/04/2020
Date of decision: 27/04/2020
Effective from: 05/05/2020