In November 2011, I launched Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016, Ireland's Second National Biodiversity Plan. The plan makes clear that locally-led action is crucial in protecting biodiversity and ecosystems services and that biodiversity conservation at local level should be encouraged. I believe that local biodiversity action plans are the main mechanism to achieve this and therefore, one of the actions of the National Plan is for each local authority to publish a Local Biodiversity Action Plan or review existing plans.
A guidance document, to assist local authorities in the preparation of a Local Biodiversity Action Plan, was published under the previous National Biodiversity Plan. Under that Plan, local action was also highlighted as being very important in tackling biodiversity loss and by last year some twenty six Local Biodiversity Action Plans had either been finalised or drafted. I encourage local authorities to continue this process, through either drafting new plans or reviewing existing ones.