Melancholy thistle growing at Weem meadow SSSI near Aberfeldy. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Make biodiversity a way of life

Keep your biodiversity activities moving forwards by developing a detailed plan of targets and actions to meet your biodiversity duty.

Drive your biodiversity activities forwards

By setting targets and actions in a well-developed plan, you can maintain momentum and keep your activities focused.

You should already have assessed how biodiversity is relevant to your organisation. You will also need to assess your biodiversity resource and your impacts on it. These activities will help you to identify what you need to do for biodiversity and how to make it happen.

For more information on developing a detailed biodiversity action plan, have a look at Planning for action.

Develop the policy

Start the planning stage by developing a clear vision. It should contain:

• a clear statement of your biodiversity vision (two or three sentences)
• key biodiversity principles and commitments
• who is responsible for delivering it.

A good biodiversity policy statement should be clear, ambitious and inspirational. Use the management structure in your organisation to develop the statement and ensure that it is adopted at a senior level.

As you develop your policy, focus on the key principles relating to species, habitats and networks, and large-scale building projects.

Link to other local initiatives

The biodiversity action you carry out will be all the more successful if it connects with other local initiatives. Most areas have a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) and you could see how you can connect with and be a part of it.

Wider Scottish policy is also relevant. The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is key for understanding biodiversity policy in Scotland.

Set objectives and targets

Objectives clarify your purpose and provide a framework for targets and actions. A good objective must be relevant to your biodiversity policy commitments, clear, action focused and achievable.

Targets are precise measures of progress, such as how much will be done or achieved or how many species will be affected. Make your targets SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound), as this will help when it comes to reporting your results.

Identify actions

Actions are what you can do ‘on the ground’ to achieve your targets. You can consider different actions for different timescales:

• Short term: see biodiversity on a budget for some ideas as you begin to identify actions.
• Medium and long term: this takes more planning and preparation and may be more demanding. However, these actions may be more important for meeting your main objectives.
• Longer term: for these actions, performance indicators will help you measure success and share your success with colleagues.

Read examples and case studies of actions other public bodies have taken.

Who will do what?

Identify individuals or small teams to take the lead in delivering your targets and actions.

They will be responsible for planning, raising awareness, finding and managing resources, and ensuring that timescales are met.


Continue to keep staff involved in biodiversity projects. Share news about activities that are taking place. Focus on gaining commitment for the biodiversity policy and agreeing who will do what.

Consider a biodiversity newsletter or a regular column in a staff magazine, but also use meetings, notice boards and your intranet.

Next steps

Once you have taken action to conserve biodiversity, you should monitor your results and report on what you have achieved for your biodiversity duty.