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The Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) process originated from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which introduced the term Biological Diversity or Biodiversity (the variety of life on earth). Over 150 countries, including the UK, signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. This convention commits these countries to safeguarding all biodiversity on earth for future generations. In order to fulfil this commitment, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) was launched in 1994. Regional strategies were formulated from the UK BAP. In 2002, Northern Ireland’s Biodiversity Strategy was adopted and is overseen by the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group. This strategy highlighted the need to raise biodiversity awareness, knowledge and activity amongst the general public, facilitated by the LBAP process. LBAPs address the local threats to wildlife and the opportunities to protect and enhance the natural environment in the district. It helps to co-ordinate the work being undertaken by all responsible, interested organisations and provides a mechanism for local people to become involved in projects.
A number of habitats and species in the UK and Northern Ireland have declined at an international, national and / or local level. These are called priority habitats and priority species. The Foyle Biodiversity Partnership selected the priority habitats and species that required urgent action, based upon the criteria of international, national and local importance, local knowledge, opinion and opportunities for action. They developed Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) and Species Action Plans (SAPs), to meet the Derry~Londonderry and Strabane Local Biodiversity Action Plan aim, ‘to conserve priority habitats and species’ and assist with the delivery of the Northern Ireland and UK Biodiversity Action Plan.