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What are biodiversity and geodiversity

Biodiversity is short for biological diversity and means the variety of all life on earth. Biodiversity includes every living thing; plants, animals, fungi, algae, bacteria, even viruses. It includes rare species and common ones.

Geodiversity is the variety of rocks, fossils, minerals, natural processes, landforms and soils that underlie and determine the character of our landscape and environment.

Birmingham has a rich natural environment, which includes naturalised and wooded river corridors, semi natural ancient woodlands, remnant agricultural landscapes and nationally important heathland.

The City Council recognises Birmingham’s biodiversity and geodiversity as critical components of a high quality environment. The protection of these valuable natural assets is important, not just for their intrinsic worth, but because of their natural capital (value to people) in delivering a huge range of economic and social benefits, supporting economic growth, health and wellbeing.

Biodiversity and geodiversity are material considerations in determining planning applications regardless of whether ecological or geological features benefit from statutory protection. Any development should seek to prevent harm to existing biodiversity and geodiversity assets; deliver at least no net loss of biodiversity and geodiversity, and to deliver further benefits, i.e. a net gain, wherever possible. An assessment may need to be undertaken to determine if there will be any impact on these assets.