Next steps for nature

23 March 2021

A new report sets out Scotland’s performance against international biodiversity targets and the steps needed to continue to improve nature.

NatureScot has published the final 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.

By the end of 2020:

  • Scotland met nine of the targets, including on reducing pollution, restoring ecosystems and increasing biodiversity awareness. This compared favourably with the UK as a whole (which met five of the 19 it reported on), and the EU as a whole (which met one of the 17 it reported on). At a global level, none of the targets have been fully met, though six targets have been partially achieved.]
  • Progress was made on the remaining 11 in Scotland, but with more work needed. Areas where further action is required include reversing habitat loss, tackling invasive species, reducing climate change pressures and safeguarding species.

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “This report sets out the good progress that has been made in many areas towards meeting the international targets on biodiversity. However, there is clearly much more to be done as we move beyond Aichi.

“This year new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at a Conference of the Parties in Kunming, China (COP15). Alongside the COP26 on climate change in Glasgow, this gives Scotland a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.

“The Scottish Government has extended Scotland’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) network to cover more than 37% of our seas, announced plans to protect at least 30% of Scotland’s land for nature by 2030 and increased investment in nature-based solutions such as peatland restoration and woodland creation, reflecting the increased urgency for action to tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.”