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Biodiversity: Conferences

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL11147, tabled on 7 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role farmers can play in improving biodiversity in their preparations for participation in the Conference on the Convention on Biodiversity in 2021.

Answered on

21 December 2020

Farmers have a crucial role to play in implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity at home.

This role was evident from the evaluation of Biodiversity 2020, the Government’s previous strategy for implementing the Convention commitments in England. This report, published in 2019, found strong partnerships that included farmers and landowners had supported progress in driving forward our biodiversity goals on land, by managing habitat condition, extent and connectivity. Agri-environment schemes were considered in the report to be the main mechanisms by which biodiversity improvements have been delivered. It highlighted how farmers and landowners, through agri-environment options and partnership working with Government and the conservation community, had supported the recovery of declining species, including cirl bunting and turtle dove.

Domestic biodiversity and land management policy is devolved in the UK. We are developing a new strategy for nature to replace Biodiversity 2020 in England. We expect the new strategy will continue to stress the importance of farmers, farming and wider land management as we take forward our plans under a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as those set out under our 25 Year Environment Plan.

Our new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be a powerful tool for delivering the goals of our 25 Year Environment Plan, including for biodiversity, on farmed land in England. Environmental Land Management will also play a role in supporting the “30by30” target, to protect 30% of England’s land for biodiversity by 2030, through habitat creation and restoration, or securing long-term management and protection for wildlife-rich habitats.

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Kunming, China in 2021. The make-up of the UK delegation will be confirmed closer to the time and will be dependent on the conference agenda.