1.8 PLANNING POLICY 19 1.9 Biodiversity In 1994 the government published Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan. This was the British response to the Biodiversity Convention held in Rio de Janeiro, which the government signed in 1992. The overall goal of the UK Action Plan is to conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK, and to contribute to the conservation of global diversity through all appropriate mechanisms’. Following the publication of the Action Plan, a Biodiversity Steering Group was established, which developed costed action plans for priority species and habitats. Action plans now exist for the greater mouse-eared, pipistrelle, greater horseshoe, lesser horseshoe, barbastelle and Bechstein’s bats (Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report). These action plans contain targets for maintaining or increasing populations and proposed actions for achieving those targets. If the UK Action Plan is to be implemented successfully, it is important that national targets are translated into effective action at a local level. Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs) are the means by which practical actions can be achieved. The development of Local Biodiversity Action Plans is dependent upon partnership between many organisations, although local authorities are well placed to take the lead in promoting plans, particularly at the county/council area level. Many LBAPs have now been developed and these will include action plans for individual species of bat and also habitats that are important to bats. Bat groups are well placed to become involved in both developing and implementing LBAPs. Information on developing LBAPs in each country can be obtained through the appropriate Biodiversity Group see http://www.ukbap.org.uk/contacts_links.htm for details. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (S) places some obligation on Ministers and government departments in England and Wales to have regard to the conservation of biological diversity and to publish lists of habitats and species that are of principal importance for this. The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill, to be enacted in contains similar obligations.