Protected Areas for Nature Review

Protected areas have been at the centre of nature conservation policy since the 1940s. Much has been achieved through them.

In May 2014, we invited a panel to review how the role and purpose of Scotland’s network of protected areas for nature might be developed. The focus was on how to better secure public benefits within the context of wider thinking on land use and ecosystem services.

The panel, chaired by NatureScot Board member Simon Pepper, interviewed various experts and stakeholders over two days to inform its report.

Read the Protected Areas for Nature Review - Panel Report

Our Board welcomed the panel’s contribution to the review of protected areas. Its report offers opinion on the future of protected areas and reasoned challenge to current practice.

We’ve since been speaking with key partner bodies to consider these issues in more detail: a collation of contributions was published in March 2017.

Developing the Role of Protected Areas in the Landscape

Picking up on the work of the panel, the report and the discussions with key partner, the Protected Areas Committee has during 2020 instigated a review of protected areas with the aim of gathering experience and examples of good practice to consider:

How best to deliver maximum value from Scotland’s protected area network in line with NatureScot’s statutory responsibilities and within budgetary constraints.

To take forward the review three stakeholder webinars were hosted covering:

  • Lessons which can be learnt from Behavioural Sciences for stakeholder and wider public engagement with protected areas
  • The role of protected areas as a catalyst for and contributor to Ecological Networks
  • Approaches for Improving Condition and biodiversity safeguard/enhancement

You can watch the discussion from each webinar below. 

Behavioural Sciences

Protected Areas Review – Behavioural Science (Click for a full description)
Duration
191:14

Lessons which can be learnt from Behavioural Sciences for stakeholder and wider public engagement with protected areas

Ecological Networks

Protected Areas Review – Ecological Networks (Click for a full description)
Duration
180:45

The role of protected areas as a catalyst for and contributor to Ecological Networks

Improving Condition

Protected Areas Review – Condition (Click for a full description)
Duration
178:11

Approaches for Improving Condition and biodiversity safeguard/enhancement

To support the discussion at the webinars, 'think-pieces' were developed to research and draw together key concepts, current and emerging thinking, experience and knowledge gaps. These think pieces can be viewed by clicking on the links below to download the document.

Behavioural Science 

Ecological Networks 

Improving Condition

Legislative requirements for Protected Areas 

The Role of Protected Areas in Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation 

If you would like to provide us with any comments to assist us taking forward this review, please send them to SCM_Help@nature.scot

 

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