A NEW report reveals what progress has been made towards tackling biodiversity loss in Scotland – and the challenges that lie ahead.
NatureScot, the Scottish Government agency previously known as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), has published its biodiversity duty report covering 2018 to 2020.
The document details the work carried out to tackle the loss of nature and the opportunities and challenges 2021 will bring, with the agency admitting there’s “much still to be achieved”.
Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s chief executive, said: “Nature is in crisis.
“We’re very proud of the progress we’ve made in the past three years, but this is just the beginning of the campaign to reverse biodiversity loss and protect our nature.”
She added: “Covid-19 has exposed acutely and cruelly how the relationship between people and nature has broken down.
But from this dark period there is light.
“We have seen new awareness of the importance of nature in all our lives – for our health, welfare and survival, to help tackle climate change, and in rebuilding the economy.
“With both the global targets on biodiversity and climate change being set this year through COP15 and COP26, 2021 gives us a uniquely special opportunity to demonstrate the fundamental importance of improving the state of nature.
“Our future depends on it.”
NatureScot said highlights in its report include:
- putting more than 25,000 hectares of peatland on the road to recovery to lock in carbon, improve water quality and reduce flooding;
- protecting 37% of Scotland’s seas through Marine Protected Areas;
- leading a partnership to protect and enhance habitats for some of Scotland’s most endangered species, including the great yellow bumblebee, wading birds such as lapwing and curlew, and the Scottish primrose;
- delivering more than £4 million-worth of habitat and species restoration work through Biodiversity Challenge Funds;
- creating pollinator networks, making Scotland a place where pollinators, such as bees and hoverflies, can thrive;
- investing in green infrastructure, bringing nature close to where people work and live, and providing nature-based solutions to climate change, flood alleviation, water quality and equitable access to good quality green space;
- creating a genetic diversity indicator for wild species that can be used by any country in the world to help ensure genetic diversity is maintained for the future;
- and working closely with land managers and farmers to develop eco-farming methods.
Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.