The Scottish Government (SG) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have long recognised the importance of the natural environment to our prosperity as a nation and to people’s health and well-being, as well as our responsibility to address the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The link between biodiversity and climate change is now well established and well understood, both in terms of impact and of joined-up, nature based and nature rich solutions. Scottish Ministers have stated that the challenges facing biodiversity loss are as important as the challenge of combatting climate change. Recent publications such as The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (2019), the Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’ report (2019), and the State of Nature Scotland report (2019) clearly identify investment in nature and the restoration of natural resources such as peatlands as a significant contributor to climate change and biodiversity improvements, and to people’s wellbeing. These reports underpin new commitments by SG and have highlighted the need to mainstream biodiversity across SG, public bodies, and our wider society. They have also led to increased collaboration with the climate change portfolio, and increased awareness of the impacts of biodiversity loss among stakeholders, business and the general public.
The Scottish Biodiversity Programme (SBP) is co-led by SG and SNH and has been created to oversee and coordinate all current and planned activity on biodiversity, to secure a common understanding of priorities and an agreed approach to delivering them. The Programme covers all aspects of biodiversity work in Scotland: policy, strategy, reporting, international work, evidence base, communications and public engagement, mainstreaming and funding. A programme approach allows us to manage the volume of work and the high level of co-ordination required across the various organisations and delivery partners, ensuring that we are focused on achieving the most important deliverables. A Programme Board has been established which is co-chaired by Bridget Campbell (Director Environment and Forestry Directorate - SG) and Francesca Osowska (Chief Executive - SNH) and includes staff from both SNH and SG as well as specialist advisors. In addition, a Programme Advisory Group is being formed to provide expert technical advice, alongside a Stakeholder Engagement Group which will bring together a wide range of interests and provide a forum for open and constructive dialogue, sharing information, updating on progress and exchanging views to help achieve the objectives of the Scottish Biodiversity Programme.
Infographic - Identifying 7 programme projects, drivers of biodiversity loss and programme principles.
Published: January 2020