Objectives

The objectives set out in more detail what each theme is aiming to achieve. The purpose of each objective is briefly described and a number of targets for achieving each objective are outlined.

Theme 2: Influencing planning policy, legislation and development design

2. Recognition in policy

To increase recognition of our geodiversity in international, national, regional and local environmental and planning development policies.

Purpose

Establishing supportive policies for geodiversity is important for its long-term protection and consideration in our day-to-day activities. Encouraging the development of new geodiversity policies and integration of geodiversity into existing environmental and planning policy and guidance will contribute to achieving this and will complement its inherent links with other aspects of the environment. Activities which support this objective are those that aim to ensure that geodiversity is represented at the different levels of policies and plans we have in the UK, from Local Development Documents to national statutory policies, and which encourage geodiversity to be acknowledged on a wider scale internationally.

Targets

  • Identify policy and guidance that should include or reference geodiversity.
  • Work with relevant government departments, authorities and other organisations in order to secure wider geodiversity policy inclusion.
  • Respond to relevant consultations advocating geodiversity inclusion in development and delivery of strategic documents and overarching policy.
  • Integrate geodiversity within other environmental agenda, strategies and action plans, including the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and European Landscape Convention.

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3. Demonstrate relevance to sustainable development

To demonstrate the relevance and benefit of including geodiversity across our work in relation to the natural and built environment and the role that geodiversity plays in sustainable development.

Purpose

Geodiversity is an integral component of the environment, having indisputable links with landscape, biodiversity and the historic environment. It also brings tangible social and economic benefits to our everyday lives. This objective aims to encourage better acknowledgement and understanding of these benefits or 'services'.

Targets

  • Demonstrate how to use geodiversity information to better understand, plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change, coastal erosion and flooding.
  • Identify where using geodiversity information is important to Ecosystem Services including soil formation, flood management, pollution control, mineral resources and the enjoyment of our environment.
  • Identify where geodiversity information can support the delivery of wider environmental and landscape initiatives (including landscape characterisation and delivery of the European Landscape Convention).
  • Demonstrate the sustainable socio-economic benefits that geodiversity brings for people and the cultural services it provides across a range of sectors and social agenda (for example, contributing to sense of place and a healthy lifestyle).

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4. Advocate design that enhances

To advocate and support development design and restoration that incorporates and enhances our geodiversity.

Purpose

At present, much potential for geodiversity gain may be missed through a lack of consideration early on in the planning and design stages of development. Geological features that are exposed by quarrying or construction earthworks often provide great educational resources and geotourism opportunities, which can be capitalised on if the geodiversity benefits are integrated into the development or restoration scheme at an early stage in the design process. This objective seeks to ensure that, where practicable, development activities provide, for example, additional quality geodiversity resource, contribute to geodiversity understanding or encourage sustainable use and management of the resource.

Targets

  • Advocate good practice for geodiversity conservation across a range of sectors including transport, housing, mineral extraction and waste.
  • Advocate policies and environmental assessment methods that accommodate and plan for geodiversity enhancement and mitigation.

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