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Biodiversity Action Planning

Biodiversity Action Planning

Freya and AndyConservation Officer: Andrew Stanworth and Assistant Biodiversity Planner: Freya Gill 

 This two-year Darwin Plus funded project commenced in July 2013. It is driven by the need to make action planning recommendations in the Falkland Islands realistic and commensurate with available resources.


If all the Falkland Islands biodiversity action plans are looked at together, the total number of identified tasks becomes unrealistic in terms of the current resources available. The outlook is for ever increasing numbers of tasks as more is learned about presently understudied taxa in the Islands.


This project aims to develop a digital system for classifying and prioritising tasks in a way that facilitates resource allocation and to make them available electronically. This will be informed by a review of the action planning to date (see below) and collaboration with local and international stakeholders.

Update:   In February 2014, Freya and Andy published a review evaluating the state of all ‘biodiversity action planning’ within the Falkland Islands to date. The review examines the characteristics of current actions in the context of how well actions were defined, and how well performance against them could be measured.  You can download it here for free!     

A Review of Biodiversity Action Planning  (PDF 950kB)

The review was achieved by collating information of 1670 actions from 126 documents (Species Action Plans, Strategy Documents, Management Plans and Reports); categorising actions and considering the extent to which actions have, or have not been, implemented (the ‘Status’).

Main findings:    To date a large amount of action has already taken place (three quarters of all actions had some implementation, though only one third were completed).There is currently no formalised system of capturing all recommendations for biodiversity actions – particularly those that are site-based (practical conservation tasks) or stated in site visit / fieldwork reports.There are no established requirements for the defining / setting out of biodiversity actions – leading to many poorly defined actions that are difficult to implement and review progress against.There is currently no official system of prioritisation at a document level. The unofficial approach is to prioritise Strategy Documents above all others.The within document prioritisation system does not appear to work effectively.The cost of actions does not seem to be a key factor in determining which actions occur; however, the type of document in which actions are proposed appears to have bearing on action Status.

Main conclusions:    Based on the existing aspirations of the Falkland Islands Biodiversity Strategy, the short-term future holds the prospect of a large increase in the numbers of proposed actions. Up to the present, there is clearly considerable time and resource invested in achieving biodiversity action in the Falkland Islands, but the indications from this review are that without a more formalised system and rigorous structuring to actions and their prioritisation, managing resource allocation and reviewing performance against proposed actions will become increasingly difficult

Update: In March 2014, Freya visited Ulric Wilson, (the Technical Project Manager and JNCC lead on the UK’s digital BARS (Biodiversity Action Repository System)), and Liz Charter, (the lead on the Biodiversity Strategy for the Isle of Man)to discuss options for the future of action planning, and share experiences.

Update: In June 2014, Andy and Freya led a workshop for local stakeholders where findings from the project to date were given, and views were collated on a range of topics; including drafting some prioritisation criteria for all biodiversity actions. The proposed next steps for the project were confirmed following the stakeholder feedback. Also in June, Andy took part in an action planning day in Ascension, including a presentation of findings from the project to date and discussions around the future of action planning in the Overseas Territories. You can access the paper from this event here: