Tackling the Nature Emergency: Consultation on Scotland’s Strategic Framework for Biodiversity and Scottish Programme for Government

Tackling the Nature Emergency: Consultation on Scotland’s Strategic Framework for Biodiversity

The Scottish Government has this morning published its consultation on the Biodiversity Strategic Framework, including the Biodiversity Strategy Delivery Plan and Natural Environment Bill. 


The consultation is set out in two parts. Part A is consulting on the final draft of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, the first five-year Delivery Plan, and policy frameworks for Nature Networks and protecting at least 30% of our lands and seas by 2030 (30 by 30). Part B of the consultation seeks views on proposals related to tackling the nature emergency that will require legislation, specifically statutory targets for nature restoration and changes to National Parks legislation.

The CIEEM Scotland Policy Group will be responding to the consultation. We very much welcome member’s input. This can be focussed on one section of the consultation or more generally across the consultation. Please contact policy@cieem.net or Annie Robinson (Scotland Project Officer) if you would like to contribute.

Scottish Government Programme for Government

Earlier this week the First Minister launched the Programme for Government 2023 to 2024. 


We welcome the First Minister’s commitment to display leadership on the climate and nature crises. There is much greater recognition and emphasis on the nature crisis, however we would like to see nature related policies embedded across government departments to the extent that climate change is. 

Màiri McAllan MSP the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition states:

“Tackling the climate crisis also means protecting our natural environment by halting the loss of habitat and biodiversity. Loss of species and degradation of ecosystems and habitats pose real risks to Scotland’s nature on which our future wellbeing depends”.

Key points in the Programme for Government from Màiri McAllan MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition) and Mairi Gougeon MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands) 


  • Publish Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy and first five-year delivery plan and build on the international engagement undertaken in developing the Edinburgh Declaration adopted at COP15.
  • Prepare for the introduction of the Natural Environment Bill to Parliament by consulting on the establishment of statutory nature recovery targets, our commitment to protect 30% of Scotland’s land and sea for nature by 2030, and modernising National Parks legislation, alongside continuing work to designate a new National Park within this Parliamentary term.
  • Continue to protect and restore our natural environment on land and at sea through our commitment to invest £500 million in our natural environment to drive landscape scale change, including through our £65 million Nature Restoration Fund and through new financial support for Nature Networks.
  • Further restore and expand our iconic Atlantic rainforest and ancient Caledonian pinewoods, encouraging action and investment to improve their condition and that of other ancient woodlands, planting at least 900 hectares of new trees on Scotland’s national forest estate, and set out our plans to make the newly acquired Glenprosen Estate an exemplar of integrated land management. 
  • Restore 10,700 hectares of degraded peatland and progress action with crofters to support more peatland restoration on crofting land, including the Scottish Ministers’ crofting estates, as well as commencing the process to ban the sale of horticultural peat for domestic use. 
  • Support the planned natural regeneration of the 4,600 hectares surrounding Loch Katrine by Forestry and Land Scotland. 
  • Encourage responsible private investment in natural capital, publishing proposals for a market framework that strengthens the interim principles that were set out in 2022, to help meet our climate change and biodiversity goals, support communities, and align with a just transition. 
  • Implement the recommendations of the Werritty Review to license grouse moor management and muirburn, require training on muirburn, tackle illegal raptor persecution, and ensure management of grouse moors and related activities are undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner – subject to the passage of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill. 
  • Continue to invest through the Forestry Grant Scheme to support woodland creation and sustainable forest management, including supporting specific training and development in forestry skills for front line staff to support woodland creation. 

Agriculture, land reform, the rural economy and the islands

  • Pay Scottish farmers and crofters £550 million, with payments beginning in September, including a fresh round of AgriEnvironment Climate Scheme funding, to support actions to tackle climate change, cut emissions, and restore nature. 
  • Create a new rural support framework through the Agriculture Bill and continue to work with stakeholders to develop key elements of that framework, including the whole farm plan, a new approach to advice and support, and enhanced conditional support measures.
  • Continue the Agricultural Reform Programme to produce more of our food sustainably, cut carbon emissions and farm with nature, by increasing the uptake of carbon audits, soil testing and biodiversity audits, and funding to improve animal health. 
  • Develop a gender strategy for agriculture and fund practical training opportunities for women, new entrants, and young farmers.

Marine environment

  • Enhance the protection of our marine environment, including through progressing implementation of a suite of management measures in Marine Protected Areas, and supporting community-led marine protection.
  • Develop a Blue Carbon Action Plan to improve the management, protection and enhancement of Scotland’s critical blue carbon environments.
  • Publish a Science and Innovation Strategy for Scotland’s Marine and Freshwater environments that sets out how science and innovation will contribute to the delivery of our Blue Economy ambition and commitments as well as emerging opportunities and challenges.


  • Grow our national network of regional Community Climate Action Hubs, supporting local communities to develop place-based approaches to reduce emissions and become more climate resilient.
  • Build on our £170 million investment in Scotland’s water and sewerage services and review of water industry policy, and continue to assess how water, sewerage and drainage services can adapt to the impacts of climate change to avoid water scarcity through future legislation.
  • Publish the final Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan and deliver Just Transition Plans for Built Environment and Construction, Land Use and Agriculture, and Transport.