The Scottish Government is seeking views on how it should tackle the biodiversity crisis through a new Biodiversity Strategy which will drive this transformation. The consultation is open until 12th September. See below for more details and how to do this.
From RSPB Scottish nature notes: Kirsty Nutt 27th July 2022
The Scottish Government is consulting on its new Biodiversity Strategy which should define how Scotland will respond to the global nature crisis here at home from now until 2045. It’s a key opportunity for the Scottish Government to make good on their ambitious words and show they are taking action for nature. The consultation is also an excellent opportunity for us to use our voices and come together to ask, or perhaps demand, that they take the action that is needed.
Until 12th September, you can take part in the consultation directly here .
You can also take part in our e-action to send a letter to the consultation team and Lorna Slater, the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity. The letter sets out the key changes we think are needed (read more below) and is editable for you to add your own thoughts. Click here to send yours.
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Writing in a piece for The Ecologist in July, Tess de la Mare reported that the head of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan gave a speech to mark the launch of a new report. In it he said humanity is closer than ever to irreversible climate breakdown 60 years on from the birth of the modern environmental movement and the biodiversity crisis poses an existential threat to human survival.
Referencing Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, which catalogued the destruction of whole ecosystems in the US through indiscriminate spraying of synthetic pesticides, Sir James said Carson’s work is credited with sparking the present-day green movement, and led to a US-wide ban on the use of DDT and precipitating the founding of the US’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Quoting the opening lines of Silent Spring, Sir James said: “On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was now no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.”
He added: “Sixty years on we are closer than ever to that silent spring happening. Since we humans and everything we cherish depends on nature, we have the strongest possible interest in avoiding that outcome.”
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We think the draft strategy is a start but doesn’t yet match the scale of the challenge. To do that, we believe some key changes are needed. We believe the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy should have three things at its heart:
Species recovery – Species are the building blocks of our natural environment, but nearly half our species have declined since 1970. We need the Strategy to include a national programme of species recovery that reverses this loss of wildlife and allows species such as puffins, beavers, oak trees, bumblebees, butterflies and toads to thrive.
Ecosystem regeneration –too many of our rivers, mountains, native forests, lochs, coasts and seas are degraded. We need the Strategy to include a national programme to restore these wild places with our most important nature sites protected and nurtured, and wider nature networks to be created so nature thrives everywhere.
Targets – There’s not much point of a strategy that doesn’t set clear goals that are meaningful and measurable. We need the Strategy to set ambitious, specific targets that will drive nature’s recovery by 2045. And we need them to be legally binding.
We’re expecting the outcome to be published in autumn and hopefully by then we will have a strategy that will mean no more loss of nature by 2030 and set us on the path to nature’s recovery by 2045 in Scotland.
A Nature Positive Scotland is one where by 2030 there is more nature than there is today, and by 2045 Scotland’s nature is well on its way to full recovery.
Featured image credit: Bee, by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)