More action needed to help nature

12 February 2021

Scotland is making progress towards meeting current international biodiversity targets but much more action is needed, a report published today shows.

NatureScot has published the 2019 report on progress towards the global Aichi targets. The 20 benchmarks were set in 2010 by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, to be met by 2020. The final 2020 report will be published later this year.

By the end of 2019:

  • Scotland was on track to meet nine of the targets, including on reducing pollution, restoring ecosystems and increasing biodiversity awareness.
  • Progress had been made on a further 11, but with more work needed. Areas where further action is required includes reversing habitat loss, tackling invasive species, reducing climate change pressures and safeguarding species.

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “It’s encouraging to see that progress has been made towards meeting the international targets on biodiversity which help define priorities for biodiversity action in Scotland. However it is clear that further work is needed to continue tackling the nature crisis.

“Scottish Ministers have announced plans to protect at least 30 per cent of Scotland’s land for nature by 2030.  Scotland is increasing its investment in nature to tackle the climate emergency, including restoring peatland and woodland creation and investing in Scotland’s natural economy in support of a green recovery.”

The Statement of Intent on Biodiversity set out the Scottish Government’s priorities for tackling biodiversity loss as part of a twin-crises approach to ending our contribution to climate change and ecological decline.

Ms Osowska said: “There is a huge amount of work still to be done to tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. This year, new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at COP15. Along with the COP26 on climate change, this gives Scotland a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.”