This section provides a background of what Biodiversity is, how you can help and what is happening at the University of Edinburgh.
What is Biodiversity?
According to the Convention on Biodiversity (1992), "Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including... terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. So, Biodiversity is actually all of the living things that surround us.
The Scottish Executive places Scottish Biodiversity as a key priority and has recently published a Scottish Biodiversity Strategy which aims to conserve and enhance biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and well-being of the people of Scotland.
What you can do to help
If you would like to take action yourself to ensure that Scotland's biodiversity is protected, here are a few of the ways in which you can to make a difference:
- Get involved in Scottish Biodiversity Week 2012. See below for a link to events on offer around Scotland
- Enrich the biodiversity of your local area through your garden or window-box. Planting nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies, or fruit-bearing trees and shrubs to attract birds, in the garden can bring in more species. Even in the middle of Edinburgh, a window-ledge bird table will attract a surprising range of birds, and help sustain them through severe winter weather
- Avoid using peat-based composts in your garden or for house plants, helping to slow the destruction of peat bogs in Scotland and elsewhere in the world
- Use less chemicals in your garden and around the house, to reduce pollution of water courses and land
- Make more use of public transport, especially for short journeys
- Reduce energy wastage wherever you are to help prevent resulting acid rain and global warming
- Minimise your waste, reducing the natural space needed for landfill sites, and slowing the rates at which non-renewable raw materials are consumed
Biodiversity at the University
This section will continually be updated as and when more data is collected.
The University of Edinburgh has now endorsed its first Biodiversity Policy - link below. This outlines our committment and intentions towards the conservation and enhancement of Biodiversity on our sites.
In addition Estates and Buildingscommissions Biodiversity Baseline Reviews (BBR) of our larger campuses. The first of these was carried out at Kings Buildings in 2009 and the second at Pollock Halls of Residence in 2010. The Central Area BBR will be started soon. Copies of the completed reports are available below and on the webpage of our Ecologist colleague Barbra Harvie who is based in the School of Geosciences.
In addition, Estates and Buildings carry out BREEAM related ecology surveys as part of most major capital projects. These provide us with vital information that allows us to make informed decisions about the ecology surrounding site works and future developments.