Scottish Government has published a draft Biodiversity Strategy, setting a new goal to end biodiversity loss by 2030 and restore biodiversity by 2045.
The high-level document outlines a vision for biodiversity in Scotland that:
By 2045, we will have substantially restored and regenerated biodiversity across our land, freshwater and seas. Our natural environment of plants, animals, insects, aquatic life and other species will be richly diverse, thriving, resilient and adapting to climate change.
Everyone will understand the benefits from and importance of biodiversity and will play their role in the stewardship of nature in Scotland for future generations.
It follows with a series of outcomes for both 2030 and 2045 in six areas, including:
- Scotland’s Rural Environment – Farmland, Woodlands and Forestry, Soils and Uplands
- Marine Environment
- Freshwater Environment: Rivers Lochs and Wetlands
- Coastal Environments
- Urban Environments – Towns and Cities
- Across our Land and at Sea – Overall Health, Resilience and Connectivity
For example, under the latter, Scottish Government are proposing to have “spatially identified Nature Networks which are widespread and embedded in land use planning and management” by 2030, and these networks will “demonstrate widespread increasing resilience and health of species and habitats, and increases in carbon sequestered across ecosystems” by 2045.
Learning from past experience
The new draft strategy also recognises the shortcomings of previous strategies, notably relating to a lack of governance and accountability structures and mechanisms for mainstreaming biodiversity into all areas of policy. Scottish Government sets out a series of “conditions for success” to ensure this strategy does not fall victim to the same issues. These include establishing an independent body to monitor and report on progress, and a “high-level strategic forum to facilitate agreement around priorities, the content of delivery plans and troubleshoot issues“.
Submit your views
You can submit your views on the draft strategy here until 12 September 2022. CIEEM will also be responding to the consultation and would welcome your views in shaping our response. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing!