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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Section 352: The Mayor's Biodiversity Action Plan

530.In 1992 the UK Government signed the Rio Convention on Biodiversity. In January 1994 the Government published 'Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan' (Cm 2428), which sets out broad strategy and national objectives for the promotion and conservation of biodiversity in the UK. In December 1995 the UK Biodiversity Steering Group produced its report, which contains detailed plans for the promotion and conservation of national priority species and habitats and recommended that local biodiversity action plans be developed.

531.The Government response to the UK Biodiversity Steering Group Report (Cm 3260, May 1996) supported the development of local biodiversity action plans to translate the national strategy into action at a local level. Over 100 local biodiversity action plans, drawing on the national plan, are currently being prepared or implemented, including a number of plans which involve local authorities in London.

532.Section 352 of the Act provides that the Mayor will be required to produce a "London Biodiversity Action Plan" (the Action Plan), which will contain information about:

  • the ecology of Greater London,

  • the wildlife of Greater London,

  • proposals for the conservation and promotion of biodiversity in Greater London agreed between the Mayor and persons consulted in relation to the Action Plan,

  • commitments for the conservation and promotion of biodiversity made by such persons.

533.In preparing or revising the Action Plan, the Mayor will be required to have regard to biodiversity plans drawn up by London local authorities and any guidance from the Secretary of State.

534.Section 41 provides that the Action Plan is a strategy for the purposes of sections 41 to 44 of the Act. As a result, when preparing or revising the strategy, the Mayor is required to consult various bodies: the Assembly, the London borough councils and the Common Council, plus any other body or person which the Mayor considers it appropriate to consult. In preparing the Action Plan, the Mayor will need to have regard to national policies (as defined in section 424) and such international obligations as the Secretary of State may notify to the Mayor for this purpose.

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