Scotland's Biodiversity Progress to 2020 Aichi Targets - Report 2019

This report presents an assessment of Scotland's progress towards meeting the 20 Global Aichi Targets. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) sett 20 global targets, known as Aichi Targets, to be met by 2020. The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy: 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity sets the strategic priorities for Scotland, and the Route Map to 2020 identifies the large-scale collaborative projects that are needed to contribute to these targets. For Scotland, out of the 20 Aichi targets, nine are assessed as being on track, and the other 11 are showing progress.  We shall publish a final report later in the year.

Pages: 98
Published: 2021

The full pdf version can be downloaded at the end of this document.

Contents

Acknowledgements

The preparation of this report was led by David O’Brien and Simon Foster with considerable input from Debbie Bassett, Alan Cameron, Professor Des Thompson, Iain Macdonald and Kamila Fraser.

The work was overseen by a sub-group of the Scientific Advisory Committee of SNH which included Professor Bob Furness, Professor Jeremy Wilson, Dr Ruth Mitchell and Dr Aileen Mill.

Introduction

This report presents an assessment of Scotland’s current progress towards meeting the Global Aichi Targets.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) set 20 global targets, known as Aichi Targets, to be met by 2020. The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy: 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity sets the strategic priorities for Scotland and the Route Map to 2020 identifies the large-scale collaborative projects that are needed to contribute to these targets.

In 2016 an initial assessment of 13 Aichi Targets was published using recognised CBD guidance and design standards.  The ensuing reporting standard, proposed by Scotland, has now been adopted for the UK. The 2017 report and this latest report contain an assessment of progress against each of the 20 Aichi Targets. The evidence base continues to be developed.  We intend that this assessment will attract interest and engagement which helps us develop the final 2020 report.

Background

In October 2010 the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and set 20 international targets known as ‘Aichi Targets’.

In 2010, SNH undertook a national assessment of biodiversity achievements in Scotland. This assessment concluded the following:

  • Progress for Scotland’s biodiversity has been made by many people and organisations that care about Scotland’s biodiversity. Biodiversity loss had been slowed where targeted action had been applied.
  • However, Scotland’s biodiversity indicators, the condition of notified habitats and species in protected areas, and progress towards meeting Scotland’s biodiversity targets demonstrated that biodiversity loss had not halted and would require renewed and sustained effort over a longer period.

The UK is a signatory to the CBD and submitted a full report in March 2019, which included progress on each Aichi Target. In Scotland, the Scottish Government has also indicated that we should undertake an assessment in 2019 and a final assessment at the end of 2020.

Account development

The Aichi Targets are wide ranging and diverse in nature and present challenges both in terms of delivery and reporting. This is the second time we have reported on all 20 targets in Scotland and we were the first nation in 2017 to report progress to the Convention on Biological Diversity on the full suite of targets. The collation of data and information across such a wide range of areas from financial resource allocation to knowledge transfer and conserved genetic resources has presented considerable challenges. We have enlisted the collaboration, advice and support from many organisations including government, agencies, academics, NGOs and research institutes.

The accounts presented are composed of a combination of information and data, the majority are available at a Scotland level, though some are only collated at a UK level. There are some generic issues with information and data that cut across all accounts and require some further work and coordination at the UK level. This applies particularly to data derived from UK indicators, which either require updating or disaggregation for Scotland. We have also attempted to take account of Scotland’s impact on biodiversity elsewhere in the world.

In order to ensure a consistent approach to account development and enable the data and subsequent analysis to contribute to UK reporting, the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) quick guides were used to scope the assessments, with reference to technical documentation and the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 assessment (GBO4)

We have adopted the five-point scoring system produced by the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity as shown in Table 1 below to summarise progress against each target.

Figure 1. Five point scale of progress, adapted from Global Outlook 4.

 Description Icon

On track to exceed target (we expect to achieve this before its deadline)


On track to exceed target (we expect to achieve this before its deadline)

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)


On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)


Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

No significant overall progress (overall, we are neither moving towards the target nor moving away from it)


No significant overall progress (overall, we are neither moving towards the target nor moving away from it)

Moving away from target (things are getting worse rather than better)


Moving away from target (things are getting worse rather than better)


Following collation of information and data for each Aichi account, an assessment of status using the UN scale of progress shown above was assigned to each Aichi Target. This was undertaken by relevant experts within and out-with SNH. The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Scientific Advisory Committee provided quality assurance and expert advice through-out Aichi target account development and assessment.

Summary of findings

An account of progress with each Aichi Target in Scotland is provided with a summary of the assessment of each target list below. There are nine Aichi targets assessed as being on track. A further 11 are showing progress, but requiring additional action if we are to meet these targets by 2020.  

The Convention on Biological Diversity brigaded the Aichi Targets under five strategic goals covering; A) mainstreaming; B) direct pressures; C) biodiversity status; D) benefits to all; and E) enhanced implementation.

There are a number of areas where Scotland is progressing well with mainstreaming biodiversity, including work to increase public awareness and engagement and embedding biodiversity values through the development of policy and practice on natural capital; brigaded under Strategic Goal A. But there appears to be a time lag in terms of translating these ambitions into changes in practice and clearly influencing decision making across key sectors of government and society. A priority has been given to mainstreaming biodiversity across government, public bodies and business under the recently established Scottish Biodiversity Programme; which will include work to reform incentives to better support biodiversity and reduce harm. Further action is required to ensure we understand the impact of other incentives on biodiversity and ensure production and consumption are within safe ecological limits. Stringent carbon targets set by the Scottish Government to achieve net zero carbon by 2045 are aligned with the action required, in terms of production and consumption.

The areas of work that have proved most challenging is actions contributing to the Aichi Targets brigaded under the Strategic Goal B which relate to the direct pressures on biodiversity. Although positive changes in relation to sustainable management, pollution reduction and protection of ecosystems vulnerable to climate change are underway, there is still more to do particularly in relation to herbivore impacts, invasive species, some aspects of sustainable marine management and the increasing pressure of climate change. Development of improved metrics and focused action on a range of pressures are planned and being implemented. Utilisation and further development of ecosystem health indicators will help to identify where to prioritise our efforts.

There has been good progress in safeguarding biodiversity with the designation of marine and terrestrial protected areas now exceeding the international target. However, further progress on improving the conservation status of protected areas is needed to meet Scottish Government targets. The creation of Scotland’s National Marine Plan and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, along with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive are all helping to focus efforts towards sustainable management in the marine environment. Work collated under Strategic Goal C will continue to 2020 to ensure management, representativeness, integration, and connectivity is improved. Further work is underway including the development of a seabird conservation strategy for Scotland and focused action for waders such as curlew. A Biodiversity Challenge Fund for Scotland, of £4million has been established to support projects delivering actions contributing to biodiversity Aichi targets and climate change adaptation. In Scotland a genetic diversity indicator for terrestrial and freshwater species of cultural and socioeconomic importance has been developed. This has been endorsed by IUCN as a method for assessing genetic diversity that is applicable across the world. The detailed report has been published as a supplementary report. Work is underway in Scotland to develop a combined biodiversity indicator for a wide suite of species.

The Aichi Targets relating to Strategic Goal D; benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services have been progressed well. A suite of regulations are in place across the UK to ensure compliance with the Nagoya Protocol which safeguards the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources. The restoration of peatlands across Scotland is increasing year on year and the ecological status of freshwaters habitats is continuing to improve. Ambitious targets for native woodland restoration and improving condition have yet to be met, but establishment of new native woodland is progressing. The Lowland Deer Panel has completed an assessment and reported to SNH on sustainable lowland deer management in Scotland.  The development of upland deer management plans has been completed and now deer management groups are beginning to implement these plans. Both the ecological and wider social, economic and environmental benefits of these actions will take some time to realise. Much work is on-going and continues to be developed to ensure ecosystem services are safeguarded; such as the EcoServ GIS tool for Scotland and the application of the Ecological Coherence Protocol.

Finally, there is mixed progress on the Aichi Targets that comprise Strategic Goal E. The continued implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and the Route Map to 2020 is regularly reported to the Scottish Parliament and Ministers.  The fourth annual progress report on the latter concludes that three targets have already been achieved, nine targets are progressing well, with only two targets not currently on track. The protection of traditional knowledge and the rights of communities are contributing positively to Scotland’s biodiversity. The improved collation of data and data management are ensuring decisions are informed and information is shared and accessible. More work is required to address improved data recording, data analysis gaps and data relating to ecosystem functions. Over the period there has been a move towards dedicated funding towards biodiversity projects, which cover a wide range of work connecting people and nature.

Summary assessments of the 20 Aichi Targets

 Strategic Goal A:  Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Aichi Target Name Target assessment

A1 Awareness increased

Biodiversity awareness in Scotland is currently measured at around 71%. There are a large number of organisations actively seeking to promote biodiversity and help raise the awareness of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

A2 Biodiversity values integrated

Scotland is a world leader in developing the concept of natural capital, and actively promotes biodiversity through strategies and policies. Whilst challenges remain to embed conservation and sustainable use in practice, biodiversity values have been integrated into the mainstream planning, policy and reporting frameworks.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

A3 Incentives reformed

Incentives help to influence behaviour towards achieving a range of aims. They can encourage activity that can promote biodiversity. However, in Scotland some conflict with biodiversity leading to its deterioration and sometimes loss.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

A4 Sustainable consumption & production

Sustainability is an integral part of Scotland’s economy and enshrined within the Government Economic Strategy. Scotland is committed to being a low carbon economy and has ambitious targets to achieve this. However, not all indicators show confidently that we operating within safe ecological limits.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

 

 Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Aichi Target Name Target assessment

B5 Habitat loss halved or reduced

Some of Scotland’s habitats have suffered degradation and losses through changes in land use and management. Targeted restoration is underway on peatland, woodland and freshwater habitats. Work is ongoing to improve protection of Priority Marine Features and the Scottish MPA network through implementing fisheries management measures The Habitat Map of Scotland provides baseline habitat data and will enable us, in time, to look at changes in Scotland’s habitats. The Ecosystem Health Indicators will improve our knowledge of habitat fragmentation.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

B6 Sustainable management – marine

Considerable progress has been made in ensuring fish, invertebrate and aquatic plants are harvested sustainably and in line with Scottish and European legal frameworks. The latest fishery stock assessments show that they are at Good Environmental Status (GES) for the Greater North Sea ecoregion. In the Celtic Seas ecoregion, a number of stocks have very low biomasses and are not sustainable. The development of Scotland’s National Marine Plan, and Aquaculture, Seaweed Harvesting and Fisheries Strategies along with the UK Marine Strategy are all helping to focus efforts towards sustainable management in the marine environment.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

B7 Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture & forestry Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are important industries in Scotland. Considerable progress has been made in developing policies and strategies that will help achieve and support sustainability targets by 2020.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

B8 Pollution reduced

Improvements to air and water quality over recent decades, brought about by reduced pollution, have led to marked improvements in their status. However, work remains to be done, with more challenging measures required to control air pollution and diffuse pollution, control marine litter, and better quantify the effects of pollution on Scotland’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

B9 Invasive species prevented and controlled

Action to control the most problematic non-native invasive species is underway and new information systems are being developed to inform rapid response. However, the spread of invasive non-native species and their impacts on biodiversity is a present and growing threat.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

B10 Pressures on vulnerable ecosystems reduced

In Scotland terrestrial ecosystems vulnerable to climate change include uplands, peatlands and oak woodland. Coastal habitats such as machair and saltmarsh as well as intertidal habitats are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise and increased air and water temperature. Many marine habitats and species such as cold water corals, maerl beds, serpulid reefs, horse mussel and flame shell beds are considered vulnerable to various factors such as temperature increase and ocean acidification. Steps are being taken to identify pressures and to make ecosystems more resilient through protecting sites, voluntary codes and enacting legislation.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

 

Strategic Goal C: Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems,species and genetic diversity
Aichi Target Name Target assessment

C11 Protected areas increased and improved

Species, habitats and geology of national and international importance in Scotland are safeguarded in a suite of protected areas, contributing to halting biodiversity loss. By March 2019 some 22.7% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 17.6% of marine areas had been brought under site protection, with 78.9% of designated features in favourable (including recovering) condition. Although the area percentages exceed the Aichi Target, the condition target is lower than the 80% national target and shows no significant improvement from the 2010 level. More work is still required on management, representativeness, integration, and connectivity of sites.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

C12 Extinction prevented

In historical times, there has been only one case of a Scottish vertebrate going extinct worldwide: the great auk which went extinct in Scotland in 1840, and globally in 1844. The Manx shearwater flea (Ceratophyllus fionnus) and Caledonian planthopper (Cixius caledonicus), have not been recorded since the 1960s and are therefore presumed extinct. From a biological viewpoint, in many cases it is appropriate to look at extinction risk across the British Isles as a whole, as well as the Scottish context. The UK Indicator shows some evidence of a slowing in the rate of decline in abundance of the UK’s priority species.

There is a mixed picture from Scotland’s species indicators: with seabirds, waders, upland birds, and specialist butterflies in decline; generalist butterflies, woodland birds, and geese are increasing. Further work is required to develop a Scotland priority species indicator, and improvement of the taxonomical breadth of our GB-Red Lists, and indicator suite.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

C13 Genetic diversity maintained

There is no universally agreed metric of how genetic diversity should be measured and the subject itself is complex. However, Scotland has developed metrics for wild species to complement our knowledge of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals. A detailed assessment of key species is published as a supplementary report. The UK’s first Gene Conservation Unit (GCU) was declared at Beinn Eighe in Wester Ross for Scots pine and further GCUs are being developed. Overall there are effective monitoring schemes in place and active genetic conservation programmes.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Aichi Target Name Target assessment

D14 Ecosystems & services safeguarded

Scotland has a variety of ecosystems which provide essential services for environmental, cultural, recreational and economic purposes. These include large rivers and lochs, woodlands along with an extensive coastline and marine area. The overall measure shows Scotland’s natural capital deteriorated historically until the 1990s. Most habitat types were declining during this period, especially bogs and grassland. However, stocks have stabilised or slightly improved since 2000.

Numerous policies, directives and legislation help us to safeguard these ecosystems. The biodiversity duty placed on all public sector bodies in Scotland further protects them. Clean drinking water is widely available with 99.91% of samples at point of use meeting EU Drinking Water Directive standards.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

D15 Ecosystems restored & resilience enhanced Reversing ecosystem degradation, loss and fragmentation are key aims of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. Considerable efforts have been made on restoration of some of Scotland’s most threatened habitats over the past few years. In particular peatlands and rivers have seen focused efforts which help towards Scotland’s climate change targets. Rivers have seen continuous improvement in condition over the last 25 years. The area of woodland has more than trebled since 1900, though much of this is non-native commercial plantations.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

D16 Nagoya protocol in force & operational

The UK signed the Nagoya Protocol in 2011. Following public consultation in 2014 the Nagoya Protocol (User Compliance) Regulations 2015 were laid in the UK Parliament on 23 March 2015. Guidance on compliance and provision of an Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) information platform provides a key tool for facilitating the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
Aichi Target Name Target assessment

E17 National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan adapted as policy instruments

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy; 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity was approved by the Scottish Cabinet and published in 2013. This document sets the strategic direction for biodiversity action in Scotland towards 2030. The Route Map to 2020, published in 2015, provides a clear focus for activity which will significantly contribute to the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. Both documents represent the policy instruments for biodiversity in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

E18 Traditional knowledge respected

Scotland’s traditional languages and the knowledge held by their speakers have gained greater protection since 2005, following the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. New research is safeguarding and sharing traditional knowledge. The rights of communities have been enhanced through several pieces of legislation, particularly since 2000. Traditional land management practices, such as crofting, benefit nationally and internationally important biodiversity.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

E19 Knowledge improved, shared and applied

Scotland has made significant efforts in data delivery and data management systems with The NBN Atlas Scotland, Scotland’s Environment Web, and the Marine Scotland data publishing portal all contributing greatly to improving sharing and application of Scotland’s knowledge. Volunteers and researchers make large contributions to the numbers of species and habitats records and the way we use them. The Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF) Review is looking at the future options for biological data management across Scotland as part of the process to ensure that the necessary structures are in place to collect and disseminate biological information. Improved information on the consequences in the loss, values, and functions of Scotland’s biodiversity, could aid us in prioritising conservation action.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

E20 Financial resources increased

The UK indicator shows a decline in funding for biodiversity since 2010/11. Overall government funding for biodiversity in Scotland has increased over the same period, mainly through specific targeted projects which connect people and nature, notably the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention Programme, and the Peatland Action Programme. Agri- environmental funding is a further major source of resources to maintain and enhance the natural heritage.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

 

Next steps

The final assessment on progress towards the Aichi Targets in Scotland will be published in late 2020.

In order to achieve this, we will continue to build capacity and engage a wider audience in the assessment process. We would welcome feedback on the direction and pace of progress to-date, and views on further development of reporting against the Aichi Targets.

Aichi accounts

The 20 accounts are documented in the following section.

 

AICHI TARGET 1 - AWARENESS INCREASED

By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Biodiversity awareness in Scotland is measured at around 71%. There are a large number of organisations actively seeking to promote biodiversity and help raise the awareness of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Measuring biodiversity

We measure awareness of the values of biodiversity using a number of methods. Since 2009, the Scottish Nature Omnibus Survey (SNO) has provided an insight into public awareness and engagement with SNH and its work. The SNO includes a number of questions about the public’s views on biodiversity and their participation in activities which help look after the natural environment. Figures from the latest SNO(2020) revealed around 71% of people were concerned about biodiversity. The Scottish Household Survey2 shows that the proportion of people vising the outdoors on a weekly basis has significantly increased (up from 52% in 2017 to 59% in 2018 – the highest level reported since the time series began in 2006) and a continuing increase in the proportion of people who view climate change as an immediate and urgent problem (up from 46% in 2013 to 65% in 2018, with the biggest increase occurring among 16-24 year olds).

The membership figures for environmental NGOs, and number of records submitted to various biological recording schemes also provide insight into awareness and involvement and we have used information from over 35 environmental organisations that form Scottish Environment LINK.3

People throughout Scotland take part in a range of environmental activities, from large scale citizen science projects to focused species-specific research. Figures from Scottish Environment LINK show that around 565,000 people were members of environmental organisations in 2018. Due to the complexities surrounding the membership figures, no allowance can be made for double counting across the 35 organisations that make up the LINK partnership.

The Scotland Counts project was launched in 2011 and is delivered through a partnership between Scottish Government, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV). SNH has supported the Scotland Counts Project since 2011 to achieve a range of outcomes focussed on engaging communities and mainstreaming Citizen Science. The project aims to ensure that every individual and community in Scotland has the opportunity to develop skills and confidence to understand their local environment through Citizen Science. The Scotland Counts project works with various schools, community groups, volunteers, youth groups and teachers to deliver Citizen Science sessions for all.

Every year the project works directly with over 2,000 participants and supports other TCV colleagues to use Citizen Science with at least another 2,000.

Promoting biodiversity

Promoting biodiversity is a key aim of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.5 Since its inception in 2004 there has been a range of initiatives rolled out across Scotland, targeting all areas and sectors. More recently in 2013, the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity6 set out the key steps needed to improve the state of nature in Scotland. The work to deliver this is complex and challenging. Scotland’s Biodiversity - A Route Map to 20209, published in 2015, identifies six ‘Big Steps for Nature’ required to meet the 2013 challenge and a total of 12 ‘Priority Projects’7 to achieve the Big Steps. This includes the following three Priority Projects specifically focused on connecting people with nature:

Priority Project 5: More people experiencing and enjoying nature
Aim: Improve levels of regular participation in outdoor recreation, volunteering and learning by all of Scotland’s people.
Target: Increase regular visits and active travel in greenspace through improved infrastructure, information, and campaigns, and the provision of activities and events.

Priority Project 6: Taking Learning Outdoors
Aim: Increase secondary and primary schools’ access to greenspace and nature for outdoor learning as part of the wider ‘Learning for Sustainability’ agenda.
Target: 100 schools in the 20% most disadvantaged areas across Scotland have access to quality greenspace for outdoor learning.

Priority Project 7: Developing Scotland’s natural health service
Aim: NHS Health Boards to promote health benefits from physical outdoors activity and contact with nature, with green exercise routinely prescribed by health professionals as part of the physical activity pathway.
Target: Improve greenspace quality and use on at least one hospital or health care facility in each NHS health board in mainland Scotland.

A duty to further the conservation of biodiversity was placed on all public sector bodies in Scotland in 2004. This biodiversity duty is about connecting people with the environment and managing biodiversity in the wider environment all around us, including protected sites. The Scottish Government Biodiversity Duty report 2012-2014 provides information regarding Scottish Governments contribution to the biodiversity duty.8 The Public Audit & Post- legislative Scrutiny Committee reviewed these duties in 2018 and made a number of recommendations for improving compliance with both duties.9

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP5 – More people experiencing and enjoying nature

Increase regular visits and active travel in greenspace through improved infrastructure, information, and campaigns, and the provision of activities and events.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP6 – Taking learning outdoors

100 schools in the 20% most disadvantaged areas across Scotland have access to quality greenspace for outdoor learning.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP7 – Developing Scotland’s natural health service

Improve greenspace quality and use on at least one hospital or health care facility in each NHS Health Board in mainland Scotland.

 

tick - on track

 

A1 References end notes

   https://www.nature.scot/snh-research-report-1198-scottish-nature-omnibus-2019
   https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-people-annual-report-results-2018-scottish- household-survey/
3    http://www.scotlink.org/
4    https://www.tcv.org.uk/scotland/discover/citizen-science/scotland-counts
5    https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity/scottish-biodiversity-strategy
   https://www.gov.scot/publications/2020-challenge-scotlands-biodiversity-strategy-conservation- enhancement-biodiversity-scotland/
7    https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480291.pdf
8    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/biodiversity/duty
9    http://www.parliament.scot/S5_Public_Audit/Reports/PAPLSS052018R2_(2).pdf

 

AICHI TARGET 2 - BIODIVERSITY VALUES INTEGRATED

By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Scotland is a world leader in developing the concept of natural capital, and actively promotes biodiversity through strategies and policies. Whilst challenges remain to embed conservation and sustainable use in practice, biodiversity values have been integrated into the mainstream planning, policy and reporting frameworks.

Ecosystem services

In 2011 Scotland became “the first country in the world to publish a detailed attempt to measure annual changes in its natural capital, based on an evaluation of ecosystem service potential.” 1,2,3

Figure 2.1 Scotland's Natural Capital Asset Index 2019

Figure 2.1

Scotland's Natural Capital Asset Index 2019

Ecosystem services4 are provided by habitats such as forestry,5 freshwater6 and coastal habitats.7 Habitats are assessed by their ability to provide ecosystem services, these services are then weighted by their ability to contribute to human wellbeing.

While there is inevitable uncertainty, these have informed weightings in the Natural Capital Asset Index (NCAI).The NCAI covers terrestrial habitats; a feasibility study by Marine Biological Association of the UK into the development of a marine version of the NCAI9 concluded that a marine index is possible but is currently limited by suitable datasets. Based on a survey of scientists, the Scottish Public Opinion Monitor (often known as ‘the Scottish Omnibus survey’) and the relative economic contribution of nature-based tourism, ecosystem service group weightings were derived, as 25% (provisioning), 50% (regulating/maintenance – split equally) and 25% (cultural). Specific services within each group were also weighted to reflect their relative contributions to human wellbeing; for example, the Scotland-wide importance of carbon sequestration was estimated to be twice as important as Freshwater quality regulation.1 The NCAI is underpinned by 38 separate indicators. Biodiversity is recognised as a key indicator of habitat quality as it underpins the functioning and resilience of ecosystems. Quality indicators include several bird indices, urban bird diversity and butterfly indicators. As the natural capital discipline evolves and progresses, the NCAI should remain open to evolving, much in the same way it has done since its inception in 2011 (McKenna, 2019). McVittie et al. (2016)10 state that “challenges remain in developing natural capital accounts. We need biophysical data that reflect changes in condition over time, and that can be linked to both management actions and benefits that can be valued.” The latest assessment11 shows a stabilisation of Scotland’s natural capital following decades of decline until the 1990s. Almost all broad habitat types showed an improvement in 2017, including important habitats such as heath moorland and grassland, though three habitats are still below their level in 2000. Woodland extent continues to increase, including broadleaf woodland covering 20% more land than in 2000. Cultural services increased through increased interactions with the environment: outdoor visits are at their highest rate since 2000. Urban greenspace continues to be perceived as degraded, limiting the benefits people derive from nature in their neighbourhoods.

National policies and Strategies

All public bodies in Scotland have a biodiversity duty12 and are required to publish their compliance with it.13

The Scottish Economic Strategy recognises the need for investment in natural resources. Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework (NPF3)14 support four key outcomes: A successful sustainable place; a resilient place; a low carbon place; and a more connected place. These policies and frameworks operate at national and sub-national scales.

Scotland’s National Marine Plan15 provides a comprehensive overarching framework for all marine activity in Scotland’s waters. It aims to enable sustainable development and use of marine areas in a way which will protect and enhance the marine environment whilst promoting both existing and emerging industries.

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy states that biodiversity will be conserved for the health, enjoyment and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.16 The Scottish Land Use Strategy has objectives relating to the economy, environment and communities; and the Principles for Sustainable Land Use to guide policy and decision making by Government and across the public sector.17 The Scottish Government is developing an Environment Strategy for Scotland.18 Other measures that can also help support biodiversity include: European LIFE funding, Heritage Lottery Funds, Scotland’s Rural Development Programme and Land Use Strategy.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure (GI) is ideally a strategically planned network of high quality natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features, which is designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services and to protect biodiversity, in both rural and urban settings.19 Scotland uses European and domestic funding20 to develop and improve green infrastructure. Access to urban greenspace has been shown to be linked to better health, particularly in areas of multiple deprivation.21

 Priority Project Relevance Status

PP4 – Investment in natural capital

Businesses are more aware of their reliance on Scotland's natural capital, and more investment is being made in building natural capital.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A2 References end notes

1    Hambrey, J. & Armstrong, A. 2010. Piloting a Natural Capital Asset Index. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 750.
2     Albon, S., Balana, B., Brooker, R. & Eastwood, A. 2014. A systematic evaluation of Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 751.
3    McKenna, T., Blaney, R., Brooker, R.W., Ewing, D.A., Pakeman, R.J., Watkinson, P. & O'Brien, D., 2019. Scotland’s natural capital asset index: Tracking nature’s contribution to national wellbeing. Ecological Indicators, 107, p.105645.
   Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. eds. 2016. Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute. 28pp.
5    Edwards, D., Elliot, A., Martin, S. et al. 2009. A valuation of the economic and social contribution of forestry for people in Scotland. Forestry Commission Research Report. Forestry Commission Scotland, Edinburgh.
6    Martin-Ortega, J., Holstead, K.L. & Kenyon, W. 2013. The Value of Scotland’s Water Resources. CREW.
7     http://www.hutton.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/publications/hutton_coast_booklet_web.pdf
   Technical Guidance https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-natural-capital-asset-index-0
9    Tillin, H.M., Langmead, O., Hodgson, B., Luff, A, Rees, S., Hooper, T. & Frost, M. 2019. Feasibility study for a Marine Natural Capital Asset Index for Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage Research Report No. 1071.
10   McVittie, A., Novo, P., Nijinik, M. 2016. Valuation and natural capital accounting. In Ecosystem Services. eds. Booker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. The James Hutton Institute.
11   Information Note https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-natural-capital-asset-index-0
12   The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2004/6/contents
13   Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2011/6/contents/enacted
14    Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework (NPF3) – http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/National-Planning-Framework
15   http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0047/00475466.pdf
16   http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/biodiversity/BiodiversityStrategy
17   http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Countryside/Landusestrategy
18   https://consult.gov.scot/environment-forestry/environment-strategy/
19   European Commission. 2013. Building a Green Infrastructure for Europe. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
20   Green Infrastructure – http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/ecosystems/index_en.htm
21   Mitchell, R., & Popham, F. 2008. Effect of exposure to natural environment on health inequalities: an observational population study. The Lancet, 372(9650), 1655-1660.

 

AICHI TARGET 3 - INCENTIVES REFORMED

By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio-economic conditions.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Incentives help to influence behaviour towards achieving a range of aims. They can encourage activity that can promote biodiversity. However, in Scotland some still conflict with biodiversity leading to its deterioration and sometimes loss.

Incentives in Scotland

In Scotland there is a range of subsidies and incentives available, some of which positively support and influence biodiversity, while others do not. Agricultural and forestry land use covers around 80% of Scotland. The current support mechanism provides around £1.326 billion to land managers, of which around 9% (£125m) goes towards biodiversity, although Scotland’s protected nature sites receive separate funding of some £30m.

Other subsidies exist, including tax incentives for oil and gas exploration and extraction, renewable energy, estate management, house-building and capital allowance. Further analysis is required to understand the implications of these on biodiversity. A stringent planning policy exists that considers biodiversity interests but the degree to which this restricts negative impacts is unknown.

Supporting farming

As part of the measures of support, Cross Compliance is a mandatory set of requirements and standards that land managers have to meet in order to receive support payments. With the reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), all areas under receipt of payments have to meet mandatory criteria to ensure good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) is being maintained.However, positive and direct payment for agri-environment activity is a limited element within overall farm support.

Although the GAEC criteria should manage negative impacts, particularly for soils, habitats and landscape features on agricultural land, there are anomalies in the current system of funding. To claim funding for any farm, land managers are required to submit details of their land that is eligible for funding. Exclusions exist within this for some natural habitats such as marsh, rock and scree, gorse, and bracken.2 As a result of these exclusions, areas of natural habitat supporting biodiversity may be at risk of loss. A more thorough investigation on the scope of this activity is needed to fully understand the level to which this occurs.

Bioenergy

The dedicated production of feed-stocks to supply bioenergy developments can require large areas of land, which would have otherwise been available for other purposes. This in turn increases pressure on land globally, leading to habitat loss. The Renewable Energy Directive has defined a set of sustainability criteria to ensure that the use of biofuels (used in transport) and bioliquids (used for electricity and heating) is done in a way that guarantees real carbon savings and protects biodiversity. Only biofuels and bioliquids that comply with the criteria can receive government support or count towards national renewable energy targets.Because the additional demand for land may cause displacement effects, Green House Gas (GHG) emissions that might be caused by indirect land-use change must be included in the reporting of fuel providers and EU countries. This policy framework helps limit risks but further assessments will be needed to judge its effectiveness in terms of protecting biodiversity.

Figure 3.1 Renewable Electricity Generation versus Fossil Fuels – Scotland, 2006 – 2018

Figure 3.1

Renewable Electricity Generation versus Fossil Fuels – Scotland, 2006 – 2018. Source Scottish Government.

There has been a rapid increase in renewable electricity generation, mainly as a result of subsidies aimed at meeting other targets such as reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. The future contribution of bioenergy is likely to increase (Figure 3.1).4

Priority Project Relevance Status

PP4 – Investment in natural capital

Businesses are more aware of their reliance on Scotland's natural capital, and more investment is being made in building natural capital.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A3 References end notes

1  https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/inspections/all-inspections/cross- compliance/detailed-guidance/good-agricultural-and-environmental-conditions/
2  https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/basic-payment- scheme/basic-payment-scheme-full-guidance/assessing-eligible-land---bps/
  https://ec.europa.eu/energy/node/73
4  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_ data/file/766072/Regional_Electricity_Generation_and_Supply.xls

 

AICHI TARGET 4 - SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Sustainability is an integral part of Scotland’s economy and is enshrined within the Government Economic Strategy. Scotland is committed to being a low carbon economy and has ambitious targets to achieve this. However, not all indicators show confidently that we have achieved safe ecological limits.

The Government Economic Strategy is aimed at all production sectors, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, oil and gas, and renewables, as well as other forms of production such as electronics, retail and marketing, construction and tourism.1

National Indicators measuring environmental impact

The Scottish Government National Performance Framework includes five key measures of sustainable production and consumption:2

There has been reduction in Scotland’s carbon footprint since a peak in 2007. Scotland’s carbon footprint in 2015 was 76.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is 23.3% lower than the 2007 levels (100.2 MtCO2e). An estimate of the ecological footprint was undertaken in 2006.3 This was stable but exceeded the target value.

Figure 4.1 Scotland's Carbon Footprint, 1998-2015. Source: Scottish Government

Figure 4.1

Scotland's Carbon Footprint, 1998-2015. Source: Scottish Government.

Scotland’s carbon footprint can be broke down into three main components from 1998 to 2015.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions embedded in imported goods and services from overseas.These accounted for 54.2 per cent of Scotland's carbon footprint in 2015; up from 40.1per cent in 1998.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions embedded in UK produced goods and services. Theseaccounted for 29.7 per cent of Scotland's carbon footprint in 2015; down from 43.7 percent in 1998.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions directly produced by Scottish residents. These account for16.1 per cent of Scotland's carbon footprint in 2015; essentially equal to theiremissions share in 1998 at 16.2 per cent of total consumption-based emissions.
Figure 4.2 Scotland’s Carbon Footprint, by main component, 1998 to 2015. Values in MtCO2e

Figure 4.2

Scotland’s Carbon Footprint, by main component, 1998 to 2015. Values in MtCO2e. Source: Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Carbon Footprint, by main component, 1998 to 2015. Values in MtCO2e4

Over the decade there has been an increase in the amount of electricity generated in Scotland by renewable sources. In 2017, renewable electricity generation was equivalent to 70.1% of gross electricity consumption, an increase of 14.0 percentage points compared with 54.0% in 2016. This is over four times the level at the end of 2006.5 The reduction in renewable generation in 2016 can be attributed to falls in both hydro and wind generation due to reduced rainfall and wind speeds that year.

Figure 4.3 Electricity generated by renewables as a % of gross consumption, 2000 to 2017

Figure 4.3

Electricity generated by renewables as a % of gross consumption, 2000 to 2017. Source: Scottish Government

Plans for sustainable consumption and production

A number of policies and strategies help guide action towards ensuring sustainability goals are being met. These include the Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009),the Zero Waste Plan (2010),7 Low Carbon Scotland (2013),8 Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources (2013),9 A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland10 and Scotland’s National Marine Plan.11 The Carbon metric, produced by Zero Waste Scotland, shows how waste reduction and sustainable waste management can play a critical role in the fight against climate change.

Despite large annual fluctuations in waste generated, improved recycling and declining use of landfill continues to reduce the overall carbon impact of waste in Scotland, which has fallen 26% or 3.6MTCO2e since 2011.12

The impacts of Scotland’s consumption and the dependence on ecosystems overseas are poorly understood. More work is required to fill gaps in knowledge and explore measures to minimise Scotland’s global ecological footprint. SEPA have produced a strategy that aims to help reduce Scotland’s ecological footprint. The One Planet Prosperity Strategy sets a new ambitious direction that will help meet the targets required to reduce our ecological footprint.13

Although the use of natural resources is mentioned within the Circular Economic Strategy, it is unclear specifically what measures are being taken to ensure that impacts are being kept within safe ecological limits.

Project Relevance Status

PP4 – Investment in natural capital

Businesses are more aware of their reliance on Scotland's natural capital, and more investment is being made in building natural capital.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A4 Reference end notes

1     https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2020/06/scottish-annual-business-statistics-2018/documents/sabs-2018-key-facts/sabs-2018-key-facts/govscot%3Adocument/SABS%2B2018%2BKey%2Bfacts.pdf
    http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/outcome/envImpact
3     https://www2.gov.scot/topics/archive/About- Archive/scotlandperforms/indicators/ecologicalFootprint#a2
    https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-carbon-footprint-2015/
5     https://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/indicator/renewable#Chart
    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/climatechange/scotlands-action/climatechangeact
    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/waste-and-pollution/Waste-1/wastestrategy
    A Low Carbon Economic Strategy for Scotland – http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2010/11/15085756/0
9     http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0043/00435308.pdf
10   http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/02/1761
11    http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/6517/downloads#res-1
12    https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/2016-carbon-metric-summary-report
13    https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/219427/one-planet-prosperity-our-regulatory-strategy.pdf

 

AICHI TARGET 5 - HABITAT LOSS HALVED OR REDUCED

By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Some of Scotland’s habitats have suffered degradation and losses through changes in land use and management. Targeted restoration is underway on peatland, woodland and freshwater habitats. Work is ongoing to improve protection of Priority Marine Features and the Scottish MPA network through implementing fisheries management measures The Habitat Map of Scotland provides baseline habitat data and will enable us, in time, to look at changes in Scotland’s habitats. The Ecosystem Health Indicators will improve our knowledge of habitat fragmentation.

Scotland’s peatlands, mountain landscapes, coastal cliffs and seas, machair and some of our woodland ecosystems are exceptional by European standards.1 However, degradation, losses and reduction of Scotland’s native habitats has been – and is being – caused by many pressures including land use intensification and modification; habitat fragmentation; overexploitation; over and under grazing;2 invasive non-native species (e.g. rhododendron)3 and wildlife diseases (e.g. Dutch elm disease). Climate change, particularly affecting montane, wetland and coastal habitats, and pollution have also impacted on our natural habitats.4,5

Habitat changes

The overall condition of notified habitats on protected sites in Scotland is stable6 with 78.9% of all designated features in favourable or recovering condition (see Aichi Target 11). The area of terrestrial land and inland water under site protection has remained approximately 23% between 2016 and 2019.7 The proportion of Scotland’s seas designated as Marine Protected Areas for nature conservation is increasing, reaching nearly 18% by mid-2019 with a commitment for further designation.7,8

Figure 5.1 2019 EU Habitats Directive Article 17 Scottish reporting – Scottish assessment of Overall trends in Conservation Status qualifier for 58 terrestrial and coastal habitats

Figure 5.1

2019 EU Habitats Directive Article 17 Scottish reporting – Scottish assessment of Overall trends in Conservation Status qualifier for 58 terrestrial and coastal habitats.

Trends in the conservation status of habitats of European importance in Scotland were 26% deteriorating, 24% improving, 40% stable and 10% unknown when last reported (Figure 5.1). Table 5.1 shows how one of the habitat groups had a declining conservation status “Coastal sand dunes and continental dunes. Three habitat groups showed an improving or stable status overall; “Freshwater”; “Raised Bogs, Mires and Fens” and “Rocky Habitats and Caves”. “Marine, coastal and halophytic habitats” have the largest number of unknown trends. 

Table 5.1 2019 EU Habitats Directive Article 17 Scottish reporting - Scottish assessment of Overall trends in Conservation Status qualifier for 58 terrestrial and coastal habitats grouped by category (using JNCC categories).9

Habitat Group Deteriorating Improving Stable Unknown
Coastal sand dunes and continental dunes 7 1 1 n/a
Forests n/a 1 4 n/a
Freshwater habitats 1 1 4 n/a
Marine, coastal and halophytic habitats 2 n/a 3 6
Natural and semi-natural grassland formations 3 3 2

n/a

Raised bogs and mires and fens 1 3 4 n/a
Rocky habitats and caves n/a 3 3 n/a
Scelerophyllous scrub (matorral) n/a n/a 1 n/a
Temperate heath and scrub 1 2 1 n/a

 

Whilst the extent of semi-natural features reduced by 17%10 between 1947 and 1988, the assessment to 2007 was more positive, notably for expanding native woodland habitats.11 Scotland uses a variety of data sources to review habitat extent; we have the Habitat Map of Scotland12 which shows Level 1 EUNIS land cover13 and a UK marine EUNIS map.14 Work is continuing to produce higher level EUNIS maps for the Habitat Map of Scotland.15 These will provide current and up-to-date maps of the distribution of Scotland’s terrestrial and marine habitats, against which, with time, change may be measured. Work is being carried out by JNCC on “Making Earth Observation work for UK biodiversity conservation.”16 The recently published Ecosystem Health Indicators quantify habitat connectivity.17

Scotland's habitats and biodiversity

Completion of the Habitat Map of Scotland enables us to better assess the extent of habitats across Scotland at a broad scale. More information on habitat data may be found in Aichi Target 19 in this report.

Scotland’s woodland area had declined to 4.5% by the beginning of the 20th century.18 However, by the middle of the 20th century, Scotland’s woodland had increased rapidly mainly through the planting of fast growing conifer species. By the 1990’s more diverse woodland types were being planted.5 By 2013 the proportion of Scotland covered by forest increased to 18% of land area (1.4Mha).(Figure 5.1). Most of this area is dominated by introduced species, however, and the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS) found that just over one fifth (0.3Mha, March 2011) of our woodland is native.19 The NWSS showed that 50% of native woods on the National Forest Estate were in good condition (compared to 46% of all native woodland), but the remaining 50% were in unfavourable condition with the largest factor being excessive herbivore impacts.2 Birds associated with woodlands show a long-term increase in abundance in Scotland,20 which may be associated with both condition and extent. However, at the last reporting round in 2013, all five of Scotland’s Habitats Directive Annex I forest habitat types have an overall conservation status of inadequate / declining (Table 5.1). Although Scotland’s State of the Environment Report, 2014 assessed the condition of our forests and woodlands for wildlife as “moderately good”, and that this condition is likely to continue with sustainable management (Figure 5.1) woodland habitats on protected sites have the second worst condition of all habitats, with only 65.2% of protected woodland features being in favourable condition.6

Around 18% of Scotland’s sea area is covered by Marine Protected Areas21 The most recent assessment of Scotland’s marine and coastal protected areas found that most protected features are in favourable condition at 98% (marine habitats) and 88% (coastal habitats) and 57% (marine mammals) (Figure 5.1). There have been declines in some inshore habitats with concerns for shallow and shelf subtidal sediments across Scotland.22 UK implementation of the UK Marine Strategy and implementation of policies in Scotland’s National Marine Plan (and in due course, Regional Marine Plans) are expected to contribute to better management of these areas. Many of our freshwater habitats are in relatively good condition (Figure 5.1). However, there are some declines in our freshwater vascular plant diversity,23 and invasive non-native species continue to negatively impact these habitats and remain extremely challenging to control.

Mountains and uplands define much of Scotland’s landscape (Figure 5.1). Upland breeding birds which depend on these habitats have shown a gradual long term decline in Scotland,20 but remedial action on protected sites is improving condition of some upland habitats (Figure 5.1). Peatlands cover more than 20% of Scotland’s area; it is estimated that in Scotland 70% of blanket bog and 90% of raised bog have been damaged.24 However, Scotland’s National Peatland Plan (2015) is working towards improving their protection and condition. This is covered in more detail under target 15. Biodiversity hotspot analysis in the uplands has shown the importance of biodiversity habitat mapping to enable the spatial targeting of management options.25 Grasslands have suffered declines in recent years: there have been significant declines in vascular plant diversity in grasslands;23 and, 23.9% of grassland protected features are in unfavourable condition (Figure 5.1).

Ecosystem Services and Health & Wellbeing

When in a healthy condition Scottish habitats can provide ecosystem services such as water, food, fuel and energy, storm protection, carbon storage, minerals, and flood control (Figure 5.1). Although Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index is static overall, the natural capital in woodland, freshwater, coast, and urban greenspace broad habitats increased between 2000 and 2010, and declined in moorland, grassland, and cropland.26 Scotland’s Land Use Strategy will enable us to think more strategically about land-use, and provide a framework for decision making to ensure that our land delivers multiple benefits, results in partnerships with nature, and links people with the land.27 A project in central Scotland is looking at the natural environment, climate change resilience and how these impact on our health and wellbeing, particularly in our more populated areas.28

 Project Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Ambitious peatland restoration programme underway, contributing to the EU15% degraded ecosystem restoration target.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of fresh waters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

10% of Scotland’s seas to be incorporated in nature conservation Marine Protected Areas.

 

tick - on track

 

A5 References end notes

http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480289.pdf
2 https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/land-and-sea-management/managing-land/forests-and-woodlands/woodland-condition
https://forestry.gov.scot/forests-environment/biodiversity/non-native-species/invasive-rhododendron
http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/partnerships/lwec/products/report-cards/biodiversity/report-card/
https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/litter
6 https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2019-05/Official Statistics - Protected sites - proportion in favourable condition 2019.pdf
7 https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/B551631%20-%20Natural%20heritage%20indicator%20-%20N7%20-%20land%20%26%20sea%20of%20recognised%20natural%20heritage%20importance%20-%20Web%20version%20-%202013.pdf
https://www.gov.scot/publications/protecting-scotlands-future-governments-programme-scotland-2019-20/
9https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/article-17-habitats-directive-report-2019/
10 https://www.nature.scot/trend-notes-land-cover-change
11 http://www.countrysidesurvey.org.uk/content/scotland-results-2007
12https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/habitats-and-species/habitat-map-of-scotland/
13 https://www.nature.scot/eunis-land-cover-scotland-elcs-briefing-note-may-2015
14 http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ukseamap
15 https://www.nature.scot/landscapes-and-habitats/habitat-map-scotland
16 http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-5563
17https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/function-indicators/indicator-8-connectivity/
18 https://www.environment.gov.scot/media/1859/land-woodlands-and-forests.pdf
19https://forestry.gov.scot/forests-environment/biodiversity/native-woodlands/native-woodland-survey-of-scotland-nwss

20 https://www.nature.scot/information-hub/official-statistics/official-statistics-terrestrial-breeding-birds  
21 https://www.gov.scot/publications/marine-protected-area-network-2018-report-scottish-parliament/
22 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/03/16182005/19
23 https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/B424915%20-%20Scottish%20Biodiversity%20Indicator%20-%20S006%20-%20Vascular%20Plant%20Diversity%20-%202009%20Update.pdf
24 https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-national-peatland-plan-working-our-future
25 http://www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/downloads/SBIF%2016pp%20A4%20LR%20-%20WEB%20VERSION.pdf
26 https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/planning-and-development/social-and-economic-benefits-nature/natural-capital-asset-index
27http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Countryside/Landusestrategy
28 http://www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/delivering/priorities-for-delivery

AICHI TARGET 6 - SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT - MARINE

By 2020, all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Considerable progress has been made in ensuring fish, invertebrate and aquatic plants are harvested sustainably and in line with Scottish and European legal frameworks. The latest fishery stock assessments show that they are at Good Environmental Status (GES) for the Greater North Sea ecoregion. In the Celtic Seas ecoregion, a number of stocks have very low biomasses and are not sustainable. The development of Scotland’s National Marine Plan,1 and Aquaculture, Seaweed Harvesting and Fisheries Strategies along with the UK Marine Strategy are all helping to focus efforts towards sustainable management in the marine environment.

Fishery catch statistics are collated annually by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). These provide a measure on sustainable use and inform fishery quotas and policy decisions. The latest fishery stock assessments show that many are being harvested at sustainable levels, with biomass increasing in the North Sea.2 In the North Western Waters, the situation is less positive, with a number of stocks being harvested at unsustainable levels and having very low biomasses.

In 2016, of 19 ‘key’ Scottish stocks 13 (70%) were fished at or very close to being fished at the Maximum Sustainable Yield; 5 in the North Sea, 6 in the west of Scotland and 2 Northern Shelf stocks. Biomass is also steadily improving with 14 of these stocks (74%) above biomass action points for fisheries management (MSY Btrigger). For comparison in 2015, 11 stocks were fished at or very near MSY (almost 60%). The setting of Total Allowable Catches (TAC) is done at an international level for fish stocks which are widely dispersed and often fished by many countries. As such Scotland does not have complete control over what is a very internationally managed process. An outcome of fisheries negotiations at the end of 2017 is that for 2018, nine of the thirteen stocks (69%) by which Scottish Government measures its sustainability performance have had their Total Allowable Catches (TACs) set in line with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for 2018 - an increase from 62% in 2017.

Levels of fishing in the past have meant that several fish species in both ecoregions are now on the OSPAR threatened and declining species list, including spurdog, the common skate complex, angel shark, porbeagle and some deep-water sharks.3 Assessments by the OSPAR Commission in their Intermediate Assessment 20174 (across sea areas larger than Scotland (but including data from Scotland) indicate that fisheries management is starting to have a positive impact on fish communities, with for example the proportion of large fish (more susceptible to fishing mortality) in the demersal community improving and set to continue as long as current pressures, including wider environmental pressures, do not increase.

The fishery for Nephrops (known as Norway lobster, scampi, Dublin Bay prawn or langoustine) in Scottish waters has developed from landings of a few tonnes in the early 1960s to over 30,000 tonnes in the mid-2000s. Landings in 2018 of just over 18,000 tonnes had a first sale value of approximately £63 million making Nephrops the second most valuable species landed into Scotland by Scottish vessels (after mackerel).5 The latest shellfish stock assessment for Scotland shows variation between the different fishing grounds. In some stocks abundance has declined to around the Maximum Sustainable Yield Biomass trigger, the level where management actions may be needed.3

Fisheries managers are also working to implement the commitment to end discarding in European waters which was in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. This should lead to healthier fish stocks in the longer term as mortality from fishing can be more accurately controlled. Implementing this commitment does create significant management challenges for all EU Member States and will require substantial changes in the fishing operations which will be demanding to deliver within the timescales contained in the legislation.

Scotland’s National Marine Plan6 states “Achieving a sustainable economy, promoting good governance and using sound science responsibly are essential to the creation and maintenance of a strong, healthy and just society capable of living within environmental limits.” The plan sets out strategic policies for the sustainable development of Scotland’s marine resources. Aquaculture and fisheries have sustainable management strategies in place. While the strategies do not explicitly explain how they are linked to biodiversity, they do state that operations should have due regard to the environment.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) places further emphasis on ensuring that Scotland’s seas are healthy, productive and safeguarded for use by future generations.7

A new indicator for tracking the status of Scotland’s commercial fish stocks is being developed which will be available for the final 2020 Aichi report. The proposed indicator will measure the extent to which the fishing mortality (i.e. rate of fish captured – landings plus discards) for different key commercial stocks is in line with sustainability thresholds as defined by relevant MSY reference points. The current policy objective, as required by the UN following the 2002 Johannesburg Declaration, is to reduce fishing mortality for each key commercial stock to a level below the respective MSY reference point.

The Scottish Government Programme for Government 2019-208 provides commitments to marine work including a sustainable marine economy and environment, noting that “as well as providing a habitat for many species, our marine environment plays an important role in helping to absorb carbon”.

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

10% of Scotland’s seas to be incorporated in nature conservation Marine Protected Areas.

 

tick - on track

 

A6 References end notes

1 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/national
2 Scottish Sea Fisheries statistics – https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2019/09/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/documents/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/govscot%3Adocument/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018.pdf
3 ICES, 2017a. Greater North Sea Ecoregion – Fisheries Overview. ICES Report
4 https://oap.ospar.org/en/ospar-assessments/intermediate-assessment-2017/
5 https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2019/09/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/documents/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018/govscot%3Adocument/scottish-sea-fisheries-statistics-2018.pdf
6 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/6517
7 http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-5193
8 https://www.gov.scot/publications/protecting-scotlands-future-governments-programme-scotland-2019

 

AICHI TARGET 7 - SUSTAINABLE, AGRICULTURE, AQUACULTURE AND FORESTRY

By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are important industries in Scotland. Considerable progress has been made in developing policies and strategies that will help achieve and support sustainability targets by 2020.

Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are widespread land uses throughout Scotland. Sustainable management benefits from a planned approach and the second Land Use Strategy for Scotland builds upon the central framework of the first strategy. The second strategy identifies priority activities leading up to 2021 and where ecosystem services are considered as natural capital assets which require an ecosystem approach to management.Although primarily focussed on food and fibre production, farmland includes some of Scotland’s most biodiverse areas. Aquaculture can be broadly split by marine and freshwater.2 Marine aquaculture is largely sited along the west coast and Northern Isles. Freshwater aquaculture shows a more widespread distribution across Scotland.

Sustainability Certification Schemes

Woodland

All woodlands owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland meet the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).3 The UKWAS Steering Group works closely with the internationally recognised certification schemes Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) in the UK to ensure continued alignment of the UKWAS standard with their scheme requirements. In 2007 the working arrangements were formalised by the means of Concordats between the UKWAS Steering Group and FSC UK and PEFC UK setting out each party’s respective role.4 In addition to this timber and wood suppliers are encouraged to only use and promote products coming from FSC (or equivalent) sources. A Fourth Edition of the UKWAS was agreed by stakeholders in 2016 and adopted for use in FSC and PEFC certification from 1 April 2018.4

Aquaculture

Alongside the existing sustainability drivers through the consent process, accreditation schemes that promote sustainable practices and are used currently by industry include the Aquaculture Sustainability Council (ASC) and the Soil Association Organic Certification Scheme. In addition the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification scheme5 principles and criteria for sustainable fishing is a standard ensuring that a fishery is well managed and responsibly harvested to sustain the target fishier and the surrounding marine environment. Certification to this standard demonstrates commitment to sustainable practices and results in the recognition in the market.

Agriculture

Certification exists for organic farms in Scotland. Under Organic Certification schemes farmers need to meet a prescribed set of standards. Approximately two percent of Scottish farmland was certified as organic in 2017.6 In addition farms in receipt of the Single Farm Payment Subsidy must meet Cross Compliance requirements, which provide some environmental protection for example by protecting hedges.

High Nature Value Farming and Forestry

High Nature Value (HNV) farming and forestry has been mapped for Scotland. This provides an indication of important areas for biodiversity. These are reported as an Official Statistic for Scotland. The findings show that the total area under HNV farming was estimated at 2,432,000 hectares (44% of the utilised agricultural area). The Highlands made up the largest area for HNV farming. The area of woodland determined to be of HNV status was estimated to be 575,000 hectares.7

Fertiliser Use

Fertiliser use in Scotland has declined overall since 1986, and in particular from around 2000 suggesting improved agricultural practices. Fertilisers contain nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which improve plant growth and crop yields. However, the inappropriate or mistimed use of fertilisers may cause nutrient enrichment and eutrophication of waters. The application rate of nitrogen fell from 127 kg/ha in 2001 to 89 kg/ha in 2015 and the application rate of potash fell from 49 kg/ha to 34 kg/ha over the same period. The phosphate application rate remained relatively stable at around 45 kg/ha until 1997, before declining steadily to 27 kg/ha in 2015.8

Pesticide and Rodenticide Use

Pesticides and biocides are used to control pests. They are widely used in the countryside and have been linked to declines in the diversity and abundance of invertebrates and plants. There is also evidence that they have adversely affected farmland birds through removal of food resources. Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) routinely collect data on the usage of pesticides and biocides and monitor their impact. In 2018 pesticide use on arable crops grown in Scotland dropped by four percent compared to 2016.9 Ninety eight percent of arable crops and 93% of soft crops in Scotland were treated with a pesticide in 2018. The pesticide application levels in 2018 were also lower than those recorded in 2014 and 2012.

A reduction in the use of rodenticides was recorded in 2018 compared to 2016. Fifty five percent of arable farms applied rodenticides in 2018 compared to 78% in 2016. The quantity of rodenticide bait applied was approximately 47% lower in 2018 compared to 2016. This reduction may have been influenced by the introduction of an industry led rodenticide stewardship scheme in 2015.

However, long-term turnover in the identity of pesticide and biocide products used in the wider countryside, coupled with a lack of regulation of their use based on knowledge of their wider environmental impacts, means that likely impact cannot easily be understood based on simple usage statistics. For example, increasing evidence suggests that the environmental impacts of a new generation of pesticides, neonicotinoids, now in widespread global use, are high.10

Breeding Birds

The Official Statistic for Terrestrial Breeding Birds provides a high level measure on biodiversity trends for Scotland. As of 2016 the trend of breeding woodland birds has increased significantly by 69% since 1994. Farmland birds have increased by 23%. Upland birds, in contrast declined by 17%. Farming in Scotland is less intensive than many other parts of the UK and there are agri-environment measures in place to encourage wildlife, such as corn bunting.

Figure 7.1 Trend in the Terrestrial Breeding Bird Index for Scotland

Figure 7.1 Trend in the Terrestrial Breeding Bird Index for Scotland: Source SNH Official Statistic 2019

Policies, Strategies and Industry Initiatives

A report in 2018, to The Scottish Parliament11 looked at the environmental impacts of aquaculture production on the seabed, fish health, and also considered climate and carbon footprint measures. Concerns have been raised about negative impacts caused by fish farms on benthic communities.12 The composition of Atlantic salmon feed is now dominated by protein and oil from plants rather than fishmeal and fish oil from forage fisheries. A study in 2017 showed that nearly 50% of feed ingredients for aquaculture were sourced from South America.13 Work is ongoing to ensure the sustainable management of these fisheries, including the Peruvian anchoveta.14

Reducing the ‘export’ of negative biodiversity impacts is seen as an important issue at both a Scottish and a European level.15 In livestock farming, approximately 20% of the feed materials used in the UK are imported from outside the EU, principally soya beans and maize from North and South America.16

Scotland’s National Marine Plan (NMP)17 lays out Scotland’s objectives and policies for aquaculture. The NMP details industry targets to grow marine finfish and farmed shellfish by 2020 with due regard to the marine environment. Alongside existing regulatory controls including Environmental Impact Assessment, the NMP provides a framework which aims to minimise and mitigate the environmental impacts of developments through, among other things, appropriate siting of farms in relation to protected species and wider biodiversity interests.

Scotland has a legislative and regulatory framework in place that seeks to balance aquaculture growth and protecting the environment on which the sector depends. Marine and freshwater fish farms (both shellfish and fin fish) are authorised by local authorities and SEPA who will give regard to the National Marine Plan (NMP) when considering applications. Prior to determining an application, the local authority will conduct a detailed assessment of the potential impacts of the proposal on the environment, including marine protected areas, and will seek advice from statutory consultees (including SEPA, SNH, the local district salmon fishery board and Marine Scotland).

Scotland is currently experiencing growth in the wild seaweed harvesting and cultivation sectors. There is not a seaweed chapter in the current NMP, however its High Level Marine Objectives, General Policies and Objectives apply to any plan and decision making when considering seaweed harvesting or cultivation. The first review of the NMP (March 2019) identified seaweed as an emerging area requiring further consideration within the framework for marine planning in Scotland.

During the parliamentary scrutiny of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, the Seaweed Review was announced. The review aims to gather evidence to help ensure existing wild seaweed harvesting activity and future proposals are sustainable and Scotland’s marine environment is protected. The cultivation sector is in its very early stages. Some guidance is available for potential developers before applying for permission to cultivate, published in the Seaweed cultivation policy statement 2017.

Agriculture and forestry have sustainable management strategies in place, however the links between how these ensure the conservation of biodiversity are not explicitly made within the strategies.

Scotland’s Pollinator Strategy18 contains further measures that help towards meeting sustainability goals in agriculture. This includes supporting mechanisms that increase the diversification of flower-rich, and other pollinator-friendly habitats across farmland, the countryside and urban areas.

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

tick - on track

PP4 – Investment in natural capital

Businesses are more aware of their reliance on Scotland's natural capital, and more investment is being made in building natural capital..

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A7 References end notes

1 https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/strategy-plan/2016/03/getting-best-land-land-use-strategy-scotland-2016-2021/documents/00497086-pdf/00497086-pdf/govscot%3Adocument/00497086.pdf
2 http://aquaculture.scotland.gov.uk/map/map.aspx
3 http://ukwas.org.uk/
4 http://ukwas.org.uk/about-us/history
5 https://www.msc.org/get-certified/fisheries/benefits-of-msc-certification
6 https://www.gov.scot/publications/organic-farming-scotland-2017-statistics/
7http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0044/00447178.pdf
8 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/10/7565/334170
9 https://www.gov.scot/news/pesticide-usage-in-scotland-5/
10 Gibbons, D., Morrissey, C.,& Mineau, P. 2015. A review of the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on vertebrate wildlife. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 22, 103–118. doi:10.1007/s11356-014-3180-5
11 https://www.nature.scot/information-hub/official-statistics/official-statistics-terrestrial-breeding-birds
12https://www.sams.ac.uk/science/research-papers/sams-archive-papers/2018-papers/name-238744-en.html
13 https://sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/2018/2/13/Salmon-Farming-in-Scotland/SB%2018-12%20rev.pdf
14 Newton, R.W. & Little, D.C. 2018. Mapping the impacts of farmed Scottish salmon from a life cycle perspective. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 23, 1018-1029. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-017-1386-8
15 Shepherd, C.J. et al. 2015. Production of high quality, healthy farmed salmon from a changing raw material base, with special reference to a sustainable Scottish industry. Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF).
16 https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/hidden_biodiversity_impacts_of_global_crop_production_and_trade_461na2_en.pdf
17 https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/farmingfood/animalfeed/what-farm-animals-eat
18 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/6517

 

AICHI TARGET 8 - POLLUTION REDUCED

By 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Improvements to air and water quality over recent decades, brought about by reduced pollution, have led to marked improvements in their status. Work remains to be done, with more challenging measures required to control air pollution and diffuse pollution, control marine litter, and better quantify the effects of pollution on Scotland’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

Our seas, freshwater, air, and soil are affected by pollutants. These include sulphurous oxides, nitrogen (oxides and ammonia), carbon oxides, phosphates, ozone, metals, halogens, volatile organic compounds, radioactive compounds, persistent organic pollutants, litter, organic matter, noise and light. Excess nutrients cause acidification and eutrophication of soils and waters resulting in the loss of biodiversity and effects on ecosystem functioning (such as primary production and decomposition); 1,2,3 they can cause excessive growth of aquatic algal mats that smother other organisms and remove oxygen from the water4 creating “dead-zones”.5  Pollutants may be toxic to organisms and some persistent pollutants can accumulate in their bodies affecting normal functioning or can cause harm to wildlife by entanglement (e.g. discarded fishing equipment) or ingestion (e.g. plastic litter, microplastic beads). Pollutants can come from fertiliser and pesticide use, industrial emissions, urban development, animal and human waste, or natural events such as volcanic eruptions (atmospheric pollution as gases or particulates), and transport.

Trends in Pollution and Biodiversity

Over the last 20-30 years in Scotland, air pollutant emissions have declined (Figure 8.1),6 bathing water quality has fluctuated and improved,7 river water quality has improved but in the short term has fluctuated8 and freshwater macroinvertebrate diversity in Scottish rivers increased.9 However, ground level ozone has fluctuated but frequently exceeds the Air Quality Strategy threshold.10 The seas around Scotland are generally clean with mainly stable trends for e.g. eutrophication and algal toxins.11 Across the UK, hazardous substances input to the marine environment has declined.

Figure 8.1 Emissions to air in Scotland

Figure 8.1 Emissions to air in Scotland (Source SEWeb)

Habitats particularly sensitive to acidification and eutrophication cover 60% and 55% respectively of Scotland’s land area and reducing the exposed area is beneficial to healthy ecosystems. For those sensitive habitats, the area that exceeded critical loads (Figure 8.1) of acidification fell from 68% to 31% between 1995-1997 and 2013-2015. Similarly, the area that exceeded the critical loads for nutrient nitrogen in the same period fell from 59% to 43%.12,13 It should be noted that this is still an unacceptably high percentage and as such is a priority for action. Nitrate Vulnerable Zones have been designated, covering 14% of Scotland’s land area, where nitrate water pollution from agricultural sources is reduced through mandatory rules on farming practices.14 The percentage of riverine sites with mean nitrate concentrations at natural background level ( < 0.3 mg N/l) has increased from 25% in 2000 to 33% in 2013, and less than 3% have levels above 7.5 mg/l (down from 7% in 2000).

Other chemicals can impact on our biodiversity, including heavy metals like lead ((emissions down from 0.21 kt to > 0.003 kt from 1990 to 201313), cadmium and mercury, and complex organic compounds. The UK’s pollinators, which play an important role in healthy functioning of the ecosystem, are in decline.15 Scotland’s Pollinator Strategy16 says that pesticides such as neonicotinoids, in addition to habitat loss, climate change and disease are all likely pressures on these species. We require quantitative evidence on the degree to which pollinators are exposed (including likely pathways to exposure) and impacted by pesticides in Scotland.16

Pollution control

Pollution control measures have been put in place across Scotland via Acts of Parliament (UK and Scottish parliaments), and through associated regulations, including measures to regulate sludge disposal to land, waste management, water environment and industrial emissions.17 EU Directives18 including Water Framework Directive, Air Quality Directive, and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)19 require the assessment of the state of the environment. SEPA has guidance on pollution control mechanisms and regulations by industry via the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations,20 and also water regulations and licencing for controlled activities in our water environments.21 Diffuse pollution is increasingly being controlled and regulated using Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in the urban environment, and General Binding Rules in the rural environment.22 SEPA continues to work on its Diffuse Pollution Management Advisory Group implementation plan which includes prioritisation of catchments.23 Compliance with environment legislation relating to rural diffuse pollution has increased significantly following implementation. For example, compliance with the diffuse pollution rules relating to cultivation has increased from 62% at first farm visit to 94% at revisit within the Tay and South Esk catchments. Likewise, compliance with the environmental legislation on 400 dairy farms within the original 14 priority catchments has increased from 16% to 50% after revisit with the majority of the remaining 50% working towards compliance. Due to the progress made during the first River Basin management Plan cycle, the programme was significantly expanded in 2015 and an updated diffuse pollution plan published in 2017 to include more than 70 catchments during the second RBMP cycle to 2021. The Scottish Government have a Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland that “seeks to maximise opportunities and minimise threats in addressing the levels of litter”24 in conjunction with the MSFD.

Work has been carried out on some protected sites impacted by pollution e.g. many loch sites require focus on chronic increases in nutrient export, and nutrient and slurry management.25 The Route Map to 2020 contains a priority project on the restoration of freshwaters which includes: the Pearls in Peril LIFE project, including reducing diffuse pollution;26 developing and implementing two river basin management plans;27 and, plans to carry out work on measures for priority catchments for diffuse pollution to deliver biodiversity benefits.28 The ENTRUST Landfill Community Fund in Scotland closed in 201529 and EU funding mechanisms such as LIFE currently support projects investigating biodiversity and pollution.21

Reporting Measures

In the air, freshwater and marine environments, Scotland collects and collates information underpinning reporting for EU Directives including information from the Air Quality Strategy, River Basin Management Plans, and the Marine Atlas. Although the Scottish Soil Monitoring Action Plan26 and Scottish Soil Framework27 describe pressures and measures to safeguard ecosystem health from e.g. acid critical load exceedance,2 there is currently no EU Directive for soil,“... soil is not subject to a comprehensive and coherent set of rules in the Union”.28

Scotland is making steady progress in decreasing pollution, with better integration of pollution control measures in incentives such as the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) Agri-Environment Climate Scheme29 and Greening guidance under the CAP Basic Payment Scheme.30 More could be done on quantifying the effect of pollution on biodiversity and ecosystem function (e.g. pollinators) and also control of pollutants with particular regard to air pollution, diffuse pollution, and marine litter and microplastics.

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP3 – Restoration of fresh waters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A8 References end notes

1 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/03/16182005/38
2 http://www.apis.ac.uk/overview/issues/overview_Cloadslevels.htm
3 RoTAP, 2012. Review of Transboundary Air Pollution: Acidification, Eutrophication,Ground Level Ozone and Heavy Metals in the UK. Contract Report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. http://www.rotap.ceh.ac.uk/
4 Davidson, K., Gowen, R.J., Harrison, P.J. et al. 2014. Anthropogenic nutrients and harmful algae in coastal waters. Journal of Environmental Management, 146, 206–216.
5 https://www.cbd.int/gbo/gbo4/publication/gbo4-en.pdf
6http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Environment/trendairpollutants
7http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Environment/TrendCoastalWater
8http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Environment/TrendRiverWater
9 https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2017-05/Scottish%20Biodiversity%20Indicator%20-%20S013%20-%20Freshwater%20Macroinvertebrates%20-%202009%20Update%20-%20pdf.pdf
10http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Environment/TrendOzone
11 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/03/16182005/19
12 http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6183
13 https://beta.gov.scot/publications/key-scottish-environment-statistics-2016-9781786525505/pages/7/
14 http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0045/00458333.pdf
15 http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6851
16 https://www.nature.scot/pollinator-strategy-scotland-2017-2027
17 http://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/how-we-regulate/
18 http://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/how-we-regulate/ec-directives-and-legislation/
19 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/msfd
20 https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/pollution-prevention-and-control/
21 https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/water/pollution-control/
22 https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/water/diffuse-pollution/diffuse-pollution-in-the-rural-environment/
23 http://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/river-basin-management-planning/actions-to-deliver-rbmp/priority-catchments/
24 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/09/4891
25 https://www.nature.scot/snh-commissioned-report-962-loch-leven-nutrient-load-and-source-apportionment-study
26https://soils.environment.gov.scot/media/1062/soil_monitoring_action_plan.pdf
27 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2009/05/20145602/0
28 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/soil/index_en.htm
29 https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/agri-environment-climate-scheme/management-options-and-capital-items/
30 https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/basic-payment-scheme/

 

AICHI TARGET 9 – INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES PREVENTED AND CONTROLLED

By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Action to control the most problematic non-native invasive species is underway and new information systems are being developed to inform rapid response. However, the spread of invasive non-native species and their impacts on biodiversity is a present and growing threat.

Around 2,000 non-native species have become established in Great Britain; of which 234 species have a documented negative ecological or human impact.1 Most of the 1,161 non- native species known to be established in Scotland are higher plants, and 183 species of animals and plants (16%) have negative ecological impacts2.

Information on INNS is collated by the GB non-native species secretariat through a partnership process involving many national experts.2 Data on the recorded occurrence of species are available via the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway.3 A Scottish priority list of 17 terrestrial, 34 freshwater and 12 marine species (5 species are on both the freshwater and the marine list) has been developed.4

Distribution of INNS

The greatest number of INNS occurs in woodland and in urban habitats (Table 9.1). The UK Biodiversity Indicators 20195 showed that comparing the latest period (2010 to 2018) with the previous one (2000 to 2009), the number of invasive non-native species established in or along 10% or more of Great Britain’s land area or coastline has remained constant in terrestrial environments (at 56 species), and has increased in both freshwater (from 12 to 13 species) and marine environments (from 24 to 28 species). Invasive non-native species remain the single biggest reason for natural features on protected sites being unfavourable, representing 21% of negative pressures.6

The Native Woodland Survey of Scotland cites INNS as a serious potential threat to the biodiversity of native and ancient woods. Nineteen percent of all native woodland polygons in Scotland contained INNS; lowland mixed deciduous and upland oak woodlands showed the highest recorded frequency both with 30% of all polygons affected. Rhododendron was recorded in 1.2% of the total woodland area.7

Table 9.1 Distribution of established INNS by EUNIS habitat1
EUNIS Habitat No species

Marine

12

Coastal habitats

25

Grasslands etc.

23

Heathland, hedgerow & scrub

13

Inland surface water

24

Mires, bogs and fens

11

Woodland and forest

30

Inland unveg. sparsely veg.

17

Urban habitats

30

Total (some species occupy more than one habitat)

183

 

Impacts from INNS and their cost vary from species to species. Remedial action is prioritised on the basis of risk, as assessed by the Non-Native Risk Analysis Panel (NNRAP)8 through an expert assessment and peer review. The socio-economic impacts of INNS are greatest in urban areas and intensively managed agricultural habitats. Weeds, and damage to crops and stored food by pests have greatest economic impacts. The rabbit is ranked as the most costly INNS, with an estimated annual cost of £96 million per annum in Scotland.Japanese knotweed costs around £4.4 million per annum, mainly in urban areas. The total annual cost of INNS to Scotland’s economy in 2010 was estimated to be £245 million.10

The most effective way of managing INNS is by prevention, early detection and understanding distribution routes. Most established non-native species in GB have arrived for ornamental purposes usually as garden plants but also for landscape planting the through the introduction of exotic animals. The GB Non- native species secretariat currently has six species on high alert11 as part of a rapid response protocol. A spatial application to track the change of occurrence in the number of known INNS is under development (Figure 9.1) and this will be used to focus and direct management.

Figure 9.1 Invasive Non-Native Species on Scotland’s Environment Web showing individual records, date record and number of records by species

Figure 9.1

Invasive Non-Native Species on Scotland’s Environment Web showing individual records, date record and number of records by species

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative is a four year partnership project launched in 2017, which aims to work with local organisations and volunteers to control invasive non-native species along riversides in Northern Scotland, for the benefit of our native wildlife and communities. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), who contribute £1.6m, and SNH. Priority species include giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and American mink.

Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland

into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of fresh waters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP9 – Conservation of priority species

Deliver focussed action for priority species in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP10 – Improving ecological connection

Improve connectivity between habitats and ecosystems

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

A9 References end notes

1   http://www.nonnativespecies.org/downloadDocument.cfm?id=1116
  Roy, H.E., Preston, C.D., Harrower, C.A. et al. 2014. GB Non-native species information portal: documenting the arrival of non-native species in Britain. Biological Invasions, 16, 2495-2505
  https://nbnatlas.org/
4   http://www.invasivespeciesscotland.org.uk/invasive-species/
5   https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/ukbi-b6-invasive-species/
  https://www.nature.scot/invasive-species-biggest-pressure-nature-sites
  https://forestry.gov.scot/publications/74-scotland-s-native-woodlands-results-from-the-native-woodland-survey-of-scotland/download
  http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?pageid=51
9   CABI, 2010. The Economic Costs of Invasive Non-Native Species on Great Britain
10  https://www.cabi.org/VetMedResource/ebook/20123122024
11  http://www.nonnativespecies.org/alerts/index.cfm

 

AICHI TARGET 10 - ECOSYSTEMS VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and function.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

In Scotland terrestrial ecosystems vulnerable to climate change include uplands, peatlands and oak woodland. Coastal habitats such as machair and saltmarsh as well as intertidal habitats are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise and increased air and water temperature. Many marine habitats and species such as cold water corals, maerl beds, serpulid reefs, horse mussel and flame shell beds are considered vulnerable to various factors such as temperature increase and ocean acidification. Steps are being taken to identify pressures and to make ecosystems more resilient through protecting sites, voluntary codes and enacting legislation.

Ecosystems on land

Changes in the nature and pattern of precipitation and rising temperatures will affect most, if not all, of our upland and peatland habitats to some degree. Peatlands (raised bogs, blanket bogs and fens) rely on a persistently shallow water table to maintain their species composition and function. Higher temperatures, particularly combined with dry periods, will promote deeper water tables. Occasional drying events will have little lasting effect, but if regular, or frequent, then changes in floristic composition are likely and the habitat may be more prone to wildfire damage. The capacity of these habitats to provide the same level of base-flow to neighbouring streams and rivers would also be diminished, as well as their ability to capture carbon.

Conversely, any increase in storm events with intense rainfall, particularly if following periods of relative drought, would be likely to increase the frequency of peatslides, resulting not only in loss and damage to peatland habitats, but potentially to property and other assets, including livestock, and any receiving water environment.

Dwarf shrub heaths, moss heaths and possibly to a lesser extent, grasslands in the uplands are also susceptible to change with a changing climate, again directly or indirectly. Climate warming is likely to reduce the frequency of snow fall and the duration of snow-lie. This will have most effect on assemblages of highly specialised species such as occur in ‘snow beds’. However, it will also affect the relative growth rates of species differently, resulting in changes to habitat structure and composition. This may in turn influence management and management objectives. Wildfire risk is also likely to increase,thus farther increasing the relative benefits of habitat restoration measures which raise water tables.

Scotland’s oceanic woodlands are especially important for their epiphytic lichen and bryophyte communities, which characterise the globally rare and remnant temperate rainforest which occurs along Scotland’s Atlantic coast. These species are very sensitive to climate change, being dependent on both the mild, damp climate and the tree species present, as well as having limited capacity for dispersal.2 Epiphytic lichens may respond positively to an increase in warmth and wetness, but are likely to be vulnerable to longer periods of summer dryness. Both bryophytes and lichens demonstrate seasonal growth patterns in response to monthly variation in temperature and precipitation, and annual averages may be less important than changed seasonal trends.3

Long-term surveys of vegetation in Scotland conducted by the James Hutton Institute (Birse & Robertson data set and the McVean & Ratcliffe data set) have revealed relationships between changes in drivers and changes in vegetation over the last c.40 years. One common finding throughout the studies has been the homogenisation of vegetation over time, with species richness increasing as a result of common species increasing and specialist species declining4,5,6). In the North-West Highlands species with an oceanic distribution increased at the expense of those with an Arctic-montane distribution. Changes are consistent with the predicted impacts of climate change and acidification.3

Additional Pressures on vulnerable ecosystems

Herbivore impacts over several centuries, particularly by deer and sheep, and diffuse pollution are key additional pressures. Changes in herbivore impacts are affecting upland and peatland habitats in ways which are not yet fully clear. Numbers of domestic livestock have generally declined in recent years. However, it has not been a simple, proportional decline. In some places, they have been removed entirely. National trends for woodland and deer populations are uncertain due to the challenges in data collection, however, in parts of Scotland their browsing has altered the composition of woodland, by eating the seedlings of more palatable species such as oak and ash, and leaving behind the less palatable birch and alder.7 When browsing is very heavy over a sustained period, woodland loss occurs; an analysis of changes in the area of ancient woodland found an overall reduction of 14.2% since c. 1970, of which the majority (88%) was to open land. The most likely causes are high herbivore pressure and poor regeneration capacity of older trees.8 In some areas, focussed management has taken place to reduce deer numbers, which in turn has allowed vegetation recovery to occur9, however this has not been the case across the country, particularly in lowland Scotland.10 A decline in herbivore pressure may be beneficial to upland habitats, especially vulnerable habitats such as montane willow scrub. Diffuse air pollution mainly comes from burning fossil fuels and may result in nitrogen deposition in sensitive areas. Nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for plant growth in many ecosystems. Many plants in Scotland are adapted to nutrient-poor conditions, and can only survive or compete successfully on soils with low nitrogen availability. High nitrogen deposition leads to changes in vegetation composition and vegetation structure, even in remote alpine environments,11

Changing patterns of grazing management influence associated land management. Muirburn is an important tool capable of creating and maintaining high conservation value in plant, invertebrate and bird communities, though if badly managed it can lead to severe habitat damage, soil erosion and lowering of water-tables.6 A best practice approach to muirburn has been developed between land-owners, NGOs and the Scottish Government in the Muirburn Code.7

Diffuse pollution mainly comes from burning fossil fuels and may result in nitrogen deposition in sensitive areas. Nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for plant growth in many ecosystems. Many plants in Scotland are adapted to nutrient-poor conditions, and can only survive or compete successfully on soils with low nitrogen availability. High nitrogen deposition leads to changes in vegetation composition and vegetation structure.

Development pressure, particularly wind farm construction, which is itself an important means of mitigating climate change, is also increasing, resulting in local loss and fragmentation of, and damage to, habitats.12 This is more amenable to influence and control than changes in herbivore densities, but the pressure to achieve renewables targets is considerable and increasing.

Climate change is likely to lead not only to an increase in temperature, but to changes in patterns of rainfall, with wetter conditions in the west and drier ones in the east. The last few decades have seen a rapid increase in the number of tree pests and pathogens, and climate change is likely to lead to changes in both their distribution and impact.13

Marine and coastal ecosystems

In the marine environment, all ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification acting alone or in combination.14 In the shorter term, it is probably habitats and species of more shallow water and intertidal zones that are most vulnerable to a whole range of factors including sea surface temperature changes, sea-level rise, changing salinity, changes in storm patterns, etc. Scotland sits at a boundary between southern and northern influences and consequently we are therefore most likely to see changes in those species that are already near or at the extremity of their ranges, either resulting in their range extending if they are southern species or their range receding if they are northern species.

The species affected range throughout the food chain from particular plankton species (e.g. Calanus spp.), to various invertebrates and fish, birds such as kittiwake,15 and cetaceans. In terms of ocean acidification, it was originally believed the main threat was to those species with calcareous skeletons, and whilst this remains true it is becoming clearer that other species may also be adversely affected, especially during their developmental stages. At the same time it is likely that some species of seagrass and algae will benefit from the higher levels of carbon dioxide in the water.

A number of Priority Marine Features have been identified in Scotland’s seas.16 These include the cold-water coral reef (Lophelia pertusa) and coral gardens. Whilst cold-water coral reefs are not susceptible to bleaching events they are vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification, and there is a growing body of evidence showing a possible weakening of the reefs may occur, leading to their ultimate collapse.17,18

In Scotland, it is likely that the low-lying west-facing coasts may be first affected, including our internationally recognised machair and important saline lagoons and saltmarsh.19 Machair is especially vulnerable to the impacts from increased storminess and flooding from changed rainfall patterns whilst saltmarsh and saline lagoons are threatened by sea-level rise.

The marine and coastal environment also offers many ecosystem services that will be compromised by climate change. For example with ocean acidification many blue carbon stores in the form of calcium carbonate deposits will be more vulnerable, and increased turbidity and storminess may reduce kelp forest extent and thus the coastal protection they provide to low lying soft sediment coasts. Other industries such as aquaculture and fisheries will also be affected by changing conditions, and distribution of target species. Increased development of marine and coastal renewable energy generation, whilst helping to reduce Scotland’s climate impacts, has been predicted to have an adverse effect, particularly on long-lived species.20

The UK Marine Strategy21 aims to ensure sustainable use of marine waters in order to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES). In the UK, a programme of measures is in place to help fulfil the requirements of the Marine Strategy in achieving GES. In line with the UK Marine Policy Statement, the UK government and Devolved Administrations have put in place, and have committed to taking many measures that will improve the state of the UK’s marine environment as part of ensuring sustainable development, most notably through the

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013. Equally, measures taken as a result of existing EU legislation, such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Birds and Habitats Directives and the newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), also contribute to improving the state of the UK’s marine and coastal environments. These existing and planned measures form the core of our proposed Programme of Measures (DEFRA, 2015).22 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) help support our marine environment.

Developing a network of MPAs in Scotland is part of a wider strategy to achieve the Government's commitment to a “clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature”.23

Work underway

Scotland is amongst the world leaders in meeting climate change targets. There has been considerable investment in restoring peatland and the development of an extensive Marine Protected Area suite, as well as existing Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas further strengthen Scotland’s commitment to helping reduce the effects of climate change on vulnerable habitats. Guidance has been produced to help consider the potential consequences of climate change on lichen epiphyte communities, and to suggest possible management responses.24,25 Further work is needed to determine the implications of climate change for particular species and therefore what can be done to reduce the stresses on these species to help them cope with climate change. There is also much more that is needed to be done to identify effective networks of protected sites to enhance the opportunities for organisms to move and recruit successfully in the face of climate change. Habitat connectivity is likely to be a key part of resilience to climate change. Scotland has catchment level connectivity maps for woodland, heathland, grassland and fen/marsh/swamp. Projects such as Central Scotland Green Network and EcoCo LIFE are targeting improvements in biodiversity resilience through habitat restoration and increased ecological coherence, while ensuring benefits for local communities. Ultimately, however, without reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and in particular carbon dioxide, conditions in the marine and terrestrial environments will continue to deteriorate.

 

Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Ambitious peatland restoration programme underway, contributing to the EU 15% degraded ecosystem restoration target.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of fresh waters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

10% of Scotland’s seas to be incorporated in nature conservation Marine Protected Areas.

tick - on track

 

A10 References end notes

 https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/UK-CCRA-2017-Scotland-National- Summary.pdf
2   https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/media/1456/climatexchange_-_epiphyte_scenarios_report.pdf
3   https://nerc.ukri.org/research/partnerships/ride/lwec/report-cards/biodiversity-source08/
4   Britton, A.J. et al. 2017. Climate, pollution and grazing drive long‐term change in moorland habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 20(2), 194-203.
5   Britton, A.J. et al. 2009. Biodiversity gains and losses: evidence for homogenisation of Scottish alpine vegetation. Biological conservation, 142(8), 1728-1739.
6   Ross, L.C. et al. 2012. Biotic homogenization of upland vegetation: patterns and drivers at multiple spatial scales over five decades. Journal of vegetation science, 23(4), 755-770.
  http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/woodland-grazing-toolbox/grazing- management/foraging/palatability-and-resilience-of-native-trees
8   https://forestry.gov.scot/publications/74-scotland-s-native-woodlands-results-from-the-native-woodland-survey-of-scotland/download
9   Putman, R., Duncan, P. & Scott, R. 2006. Tree regeneration without fences? An analysis of vegetational trends within the Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve, 1988-2001, in response to significant and sustained reduction in grazing pressure. Journal of Practical Ecology and Conservation, 6, 52-65.
10  https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees/Report/ECCLR/2017/4/3/Report-on-Deer- Management-in-Scotland--Report-to-the-Scottish-Government-from-Scottish-Natural-Heritage- 2016
11  Britton, A.J., Mitchell, R.J., Fisher, J.M., Riach, D.J. & Taylor, A.F.S. 2018. Nitrogen deposition drives loss of moss cover in alpine moss-sedge heath via lowered C : N ratio and accelerated decomposition. New Phytologist, 218(2), 470-478. DOI: 10.1111/nph.15006
12  Gasparatos, A., Doll, C.N., Esteban, M., Ahmed, A. & Olang, T.A. 2017. Renewable energy and biodiversity: Implications for transitioning to a Green Economy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 70, 161-184.
13   https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health- indicators/resilience-indicators/indicator-12-climate-change-adaptation/
14   http://www.mccip.org.uk/impacts-report-cards/full-report-cards/2017-10-year-report-card/
15  Frederiksen, M., et al. 2007. Regional and annual variation in black-legged kittiwake breeding productivity is related to sea surface temperature. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 350, 137- 143.
16   https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and-species/priority- marine-features-scotlands-seas
17   Hennige, S.J. et al. 2014. Short-term metabolic and growth responses of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa to ocean acidification. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 99, 27-35.
18   Büscher, J.V. et al. 2017. Interactive Effects of Ocean Acidification and Warming on Growth, Fitness and Survival of the Cold-Water Coral Lophelia pertusa under Different Food Availabilities. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00101.
19   http://www.dynamiccoast.com/
20   https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2017-11/Guidance-A-Review-of-Sustainable-Moorland-Management-A1765931.pdf
21   https://moat.cefas.co.uk/introduction-to-uk-marine-strategy/
22   DEFRA, 2015. Marine Strategy Part Three: UK programme of measures. DEFRA Report.
23   http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/nmpihome/healthy
24   https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/media/1456/climatexchange_-_epiphyte_scenarios_report.pdf
25   http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/lichen/scenarios/index.php

 

AICHI TARGET 11 – PROTECTED AREAS INCREASED AND IMPROVED

By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Species, habitats and geology of national and international importance in Scotland are safeguarded in a suite of protected areas, contributing to halting biodiversity loss. By March 2019 some 22.7% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 17.6% of marine areas had been brought under site protection, with 78.9% of designated features in favourable (including recovering) condition. Although the area percentages exceed the Aichi Target, the condition target is lower than the 80% national target and shows no significant improvement from the 2010 level. More work is still required on management, representativeness, integration, and connectivity of sites.

Scotland’s protected areas

Protected areas contribute to safeguarding Scotland’s biodiversity and are a key component of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.1 By August 2019 the extent of protected areas2 in Scotland’s total area was: Terrestrial and Inland waters = 22.7%; Marine = 17.6%. The UK indicator shows long-term increases in the extent of UK nationally and internationally important marine and terrestrial protected areas.3 In March 2019, 78.9% of natural habitat, geological and species features were in favourable or recovering condition,4 below the national target of 80%.5 This remains an improvement since 2007 (Figure 11.1). Scotland’s Environment Web holds up-to- date information on the status of features on protected sites.6The proportion of features in favourable condition has decreased by 1.5 percentage points since 2016 when it peaked at 80.4%. Following targeted action Priority Project (PP8) –Protected areas in good condition, was achieved in 2016.

Freshwater, woodland and grassland habitats,7 marine mammals, birds and non-vascular plants7 have the greatest proportion of features in unfavourable condition. Marine and geological features, dragonflies and vascular plants, have the greatest proportion of favourable features.

Figure 11.1 Percentage of natural features on protected nature sites found to be in favourable or recovering condition, as at 31 March 2019

Figure 11.1

Percentage of natural features on protected nature sites found to be in favourable or recovering condition, as at 31 March 2019

Representativeness, connectedness, and management

Scotland’s SSSIs, MPAs, SPAs and SACs are representative of their qualifying species, habitats, geology and geomorphology. The protected areas are of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services.8 The Scottish Protected Areas for Nature Review looked at how the role and purpose of protected areas might be developed to better secure public benefits within the context of wider thinking on land use and ecosystem services.10 The protected areas review work is being taken forward as part of Priority Project (PP8). Fragmentation and the use of natural resources outwith protected areas have led to the isolation of protected areas9 making them less resilient to change or effective in protecting biodiversity.1 A Scottish suite of Nature Conservation MPAs has been developed to help meet international commitments to deliver an ecologically coherent network.10 Recent work has identified the connectivity of protected horse mussel beds and flame shell beds both within and outwith MPAs and has highlighted the differences in the scale of connectivity for different features and has important implications for management inside and outside the MPA network.11 In the marine environment, including MPAs, the key pressures come from fishing, climate change and coastal and marine developments. Work to implement fisheries management measures across the MPA network is ongoing. Connectivity of four key terrestrial habitats (fen, marsh and swamp; heathland; semi-natural woodland; and semi-natural grassland), is reported through Scotland’s Ecosystem Health Indicators.12 The two most reported pressures on protected sites are invasive species (see target 9 for more detail) and over-grazing; pressures may be addressed by remedial management where possible.11

Ecosystem Services and Community Involvement

Guidance is available on how to apply an ecosystems approach to plans, policies and management of land.13 By improving the condition of habitat features, we may also improve regulating ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration by peatbogs) and marine habitats such as maerl beds and sediments)14 within and beyond protected areas.15 Designated sites tend to deliver more in terms of regulating and cultural services than non-designated sites.15 Both Scotland’s first and second Land Use Strategy include the objective: “Urban and rural communities better connected to the land, with more people enjoying the land and positively influencing land use”.16

The Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosytem Services (IPBES) notes that biodiversity remains under threat.17 Protected areas alone may not be enough to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services.18 SNH and Scottish Government recognise the need to complement the protected areas approach with other measures that tackle pressures on biodiversity, for example through Scotland’s Marine Nature Conservation Strategy three pillar approach that identifies species protection and wider seas policy and measures.

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP8 – Protected areas in good condition

Focus action on those sites that are in most need of effective conservation management

Work towards improving the condition of protected sites in the longer term

 

On track to exceed target (we expect to achieve this before its deadline)

PP9 – Conservation of priority species

Deliver focussed action for priority species in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

Complete the suite of Marine Protected Areas and Natura sites

 

tick - on track

 

A11 References end notes

   http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0042/00425276.pdf
2    Designations included are: SSSI, SAC, cSAC, SCI, SPA, RAMSAR, NNR, NP, ncMPA. MHWS is used. MPA Project Area used.
3    http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4241
   https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/measuring-progress/national-indicator-performance
   http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480289.pdf
   https://map.environment.gov.scot/sewebmap/
   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-indicators-habitats-and-species-general-indicators
8    Woodley, S., et al. 2012. Meeting Aichi Target 11: what does success look like for Protected Area systems? PARKS, 18(1), 23-36.
9    https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and- species/protected-areas/protected-areas-nature-review
10   https://www2.gov.scot/resource/doc/295194/0114024.pdf
11   https://www.nature.scot/information-hub/official-statistics/official-statistics-protected-sites
12   https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health- indicators/function-indicators/indicator-8-connectivity/
13   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity/ecosystem-approach/how-apply-ecosystem- approach
14   https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-marine-freshwater-science-volume-6-number-10-sea- turnover/pages/2/
15   https://hub.jncc.gov.uk/assets/d64caf6a-a47d-46fe-85c2-17a3795b7d1d
16   https://www.gov.scot/publications/getting-best-land-land-use-strategy-scotland-2016-2021/
17   https://ipbes.net/global-assessment-report-biodiversity-ecosystem-services
18   Larsen, F.W., et al. 2015. Will protection of 17% of land by 2020 be enough to safeguard biodiversity and critical ecosystem services? Oryx, 49(1), 74-79.

 

AICHI TARGET 12 - EXTINCTION PREVENTED 

By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

In historical times, there has been only one case of a Scottish vertebrate going extinct worldwide: the great auk which went extinct in Scotland in 1840, and globally in 1844.1 However, two species of invertebrate, the Manx shearwater flea (Ceratophyllus fionnus) and Caledonian planthopper (Cixius caledonicus), have not been recorded since the 1960s and are therefore presumed extinct. From a biological viewpoint, in many cases it is appropriate to look at extinction risk across the British Isles as a whole, as well as the Scottish context. The UK Indicator shows some evidence of a slowing in the rate of decline in abundance of the UK’s priority species. There is a mixed picture from Scotland’s species indicators: with seabirds, waders, upland birds, and specialist butterflies in decline; generalist butterflies, woodland birds, and geese are increasing. Further work is required to develop a Scotland priority species indicator, and improvement of the taxonomical breadth of our GB-Red Lists, and indicator suite.

GB Red Listed Threatened Species found in Scotland

The Alliance for Zero Extinction (which uses the 2004 Red List for species information) “aims to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites, each one of which is the last remaining refuge of one or more Endangered or Critically Endangered species”, and lists no key sites in Scotland where a species extinction is imminent globally.2 However, Scotland’s species are under threat from climate change;3 land-use change; recreational, agricultural and forestry practices; non-native species, pollution and disease; and over exploitation.4

The Scottish Biodiversity List (SBL),5 a statutory list that contains 2105 terrestrial and marine species deemed “important” by Scottish Ministers, includes:

  • 441 (21%) classed as threatened, and 222 (11%) as near threatened in GB6 (for those species with a GB-IUCN Red List assessment);
  • 70 of these threatened species are classed in the SBL as being in decline; and
  • 70 endemic terrestrial species, sub species or races on the SBL with 34 endemic species being threatened; 24 of these endemic, threatened species are rare in Scotland making them of particular risk of extinction.

Indicators and Conservation

Currently, there is no Scotland indicator for threatened species. However, the UK indicator for priority species, based on country lists such as the SBL, shows that since 1970 there were significant long term (1970-2016) declines in the abundance (birds; butterflies; mammals; and moths, Figure 12.1)7, by 68%. Many of these species were prioritised because they were already in decline.8 The UK species abundance bar chart in Figure 12.1 shows that in the long term, there are 73% of species in decline, but 58% in the short term. A stable or significantly increasing index would provide a good indication that on average priority species are no longer in decline and therefore the UK are moving towards this Aichi target.8

A longer-term data set is needed to determine whether the rate of change of decline is reducing or stabilising. Analysis of Scotland only data underpinning both the abundance and the frequency indicators could provide a Scottish indicator of priority species. However, it should be noted that the priority indicators and bar charts include a broader list of species than those that are “threatened” and are not taxonomically representative. Our Scottish Biodiversity Strategy indicators show that the trends in some of Scotland’s species have been mixed: there is a long term stable trend for breeding birds, with evidence of a decline in upland birds and an increase in woodland birds;9 our wintering waders and breeding seabirds show long term declines, however our wintering geese have benefitted from large, long term increases;10,11 butterflies show a stable trend over the long-term.12 These changes may be due to factors including climate change, habitat loss, and factors affecting migratory species outside of Scotland. Only a limited range of species have appropriate data for analysis; even for well-studied taxa such as birds, data may be insufficient.

The proportion of species with a favourable conservation status on Scottish protected sites is 73.2%.13 The UK Priority Species Indicator shows the average change in 214 species for which abundance trends are available. By 2016, the index of relative abundance of priority species in the UK had declined to 40% of its base-line value in 1970, a statistically significant decrease (Figure 12.1). Over this long-term period, 22% of species showed a strong or weak increase and 63% showed a strong or weak decline. Between 2011 and 2016, the index was 22% lower than its value in 2011, again showing a statistically significant decrease. Over this short-term period, 35% of species showed a strong or weak increase and 46% showed a strong or weak decline. The 2013 UK Habitats Directive reporting showed that 42.5% of terrestrial Habitats Directive species (n=40) found in Scotland (on protected sites and the wider countryside) had an inadequate or bad UK overall assessment of Conservation Status conclusion. This takes into account a species range, population, habitat, and future prospects14 with 10% being unknown.15 The previous report16 in 2007 showed 52.5% of the same 40 species found in Scotland having a bad or inadequate UK overall assessment of Conservation Status conclusion with 17.5% being unknown.

Figure 12.1 Changes in the relative abundance of priority species in the UK, 1970 to 2016

Figure 12.1

Changes in the relative abundance of priority species in the UK, 1970 to 2016

Notes:

  1. Based on 214 species. The line graph shows the unsmoothed trend (dotted line) with its 95% confidence interval (shaded).
  2. Bar chart shows the percentage of species increasing or declining over the long- term (1970 to 2016) and the short-term (2011 to 2016).
  3. All species in the indicator are present on one or more of the country priority species lists (Natural Environmental and Rural Communities Act 2006 - Section 41 (England) and Section 42 (Wales), Northern Ireland Priority Species List, Scottish Biodiversity List).

Directive reporting showed that 42.5% of terrestrial Habitats Directive species (n=40) found in Scotland (on protected sites and the wider countryside) had an inadequate or bad UK overall assessment of Conservation Status conclusion. This takes into account a species range, population, habitat, and future prospects14 with 10% being unknown.15 The previous report16 in 2007 showed 52.5% of the same 40 species found in Scotland having a bad or inadequate UK overall assessment of Conservation Status conclusion with 17.5% being unknown.

There are opportunities in preventing species extinction including funding of biodiversity conservation via Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), targeted projects,17 and protected site management. SNH have collated a list of more than forty possible funders for Natural Heritage Projects.18 SRDP is now targeted to those areas where greatest biodiversity benefit may be achieved,19 we are continuing to carry out projects on priority species,20,21 and effectively managing protected sites particularly through the Protected Sites for Nature Review.22 The benefits that species deliver may be quantified in part through their contribution to healthy habitats; the Natural Capital Asset Index deteriorated historically from 1950s-1990s, followed by a stabilisation or slight improvement since 1990.23 Constraints to prevent extinction would include: continued pressures such as disturbance, climate and land-use change, invasive non-natives species, pollution and land management. Long-term monitoring is essential and relies on funding for volunteer recruitment, training and data storage and mobilisation.24 To address the data deficiency for rare, difficult to identify or cryptic species we may have to employ novel technologies25 e.g. eDNA.26

Issues, case studies, and knowledge gaps

Some SBL species are too rare and data deficient to assess their GB threat status e.g. Euphrasia campbelliae. There are large groups for which no assessments have yet been incorporated into the GB red lists.27 The Scottish wildcat is one of Scotland’s most endangered species and is in decline primarily through hybridisation with domestic cats. By 2019 SNH and Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group aim to have: secured five stable, wild populations; a better understanding of wildcat distribution, numbers, genetics and degree of hybridisation; and, raised local awareness of the threats to wildcats.28 Recent surveys show that otter populations have largely recovered from historic lows.29 In 2020, the habitat of the globally Endangered Fonseca’s seed fly (Botanophila fonsecai), which is restricted to around eight kilometres of the Sutherland coast, was saved from development following a public enquiry.

Scotland is internationally important for the richness of its non-vascular plant species, such as mosses and liverworts.18 New information is still being discovered, such as the 2012 finding that northern prongwort (Herbertus borealis) is confined to one site globally, Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. This followed the identification using DNA analysis of a new liverwort, Viking prongwort, on Shetland and Norway.30 The moss Grimmia anodon, an SBL species listed as being extinct in Scotland (based on GB-IUCN 2001 Red-list assessment), was re-found in 2005.31 The new national plant monitoring scheme may help to improve our knowledge of trends, and thus the status of plants;32 however, vascular plant diversity has declined in recent years.33

Several formerly locally extinct species have been successfully reintroduced under IUCN guidelines, including vendace, and white-tailed eagle. Capercaillie, reintroduced in the 1830s, has shown declines in recent years.18 On-going work is being undertaken to conserve great yellow bumblebee,34 freshwater pearl mussel, and red squirrels.19 An action plan for hen harriers (Red listed) is on-going.35 There is evidence of a UK wide decline in pollinator distributions.36 The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017-2027 sets out how Scotland can continue to be a place where pollinators thrive, along with actions that are needed to help achieve that objective.37

The State of Nature Report for Scotland published in 2019, showed that of the 6,413 species found in Scotland that have been assessed against IUCN guidelines 642 (11%) of the extant species, for which sufficient data are available, are formally classified as threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable). Of the extant terrestrial and freshwater species found in Scotland, assessed using modern IUCN Regional Red List criteria, 265 plants (13%), 153 fungi and lichens (11%), 92 vertebrates (37%) and 132 invertebrates (5%) are classified as being at risk of extinction from Great Britain,38 though some of these species’ presence in Scotland is marginal with their main range being in England or Wales.

Halting the decline in biodiversity and threat of extinction is a challenge to all countries across the globe. The global extinction of the great auk in the 1840s through overexploitation is a cautionary tale for highlighting human driven extinctions.22 As the Indicators above show, there are some critical challenges to preventing extinction of Scotland’s wildlife. Many of our most important groups of species are in decline such as seabirds, for which we hold internationally important numbers of some species; changes in sandeel availability are considered to be the most likely cause of declines in black legged kittiwakes, which may be affected by a combination of climate and fishing impacts.11 It is only through concerted and coordinated action that we can halt declines in groups of species such as seabirds, waders, pollinators, upland birds and specialist butterflies, and tackle some of these cross border pressures such as global climate change, pollution and overexploitation.

In order to identify those species most in decline, we require better data and information on a Scotland scale on the rate of change and location of our highest priority species (e.g. to create a map of areas of most importance to our threatened species). This will allow us to assess the threat status of our species by improving the taxonomic spread of the GB-IUCN Red Lists. Much of our data are collected by volunteer recorders, so we have to ensure recording organisations are adequately funded and we continue to engage with citizen science initiatives.39 

Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Ambitious peatland restoration programme underway, contributing to the EU 15% degraded ecosystem restoration target.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of freshwaters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites)

through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP8 – Protected areas in good condition

Focus action on those sites that are in most need of effective conservation management

Work towards improving the condition of protected sites in the longer term

 

On track to exceed target (we expect to achieve this before its deadline)

PP9 – Conservation of priority species

Deliver focussed action for priority species in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under

CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

10% of Scotland’s seas to be incorporated in nature conservation Marine Protected Areas.

 

tick - on track

 

A12 References end notes

1     Forester, R.W., et al. eds. 2007. The birds of Scotland. Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, Aberlady.
2      https://zeroextinction.org/
    Urban, M.C. 2015. Accelerating extinction risk from climate change. Science, 348, 571-573.
    https://www.pearlsinperil.scot/
    https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity/scottish-biodiversity-strategy/scottish-biodiversity-list
    Using existing GB-IUCN Red lists based on the 2001 IUCN criteria (CR, EN, VU) and Bird Population Red Lists not based on IUCN criteria assessments (Red, Amber) from http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-3408
7     http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4238
   Eaton, M.A., Burns, F., Isaac, N.J.B., Gregory, R.D., August, T.A., Barlow, K.E., Brereton, T., Brooks, D.R., Al Fulaij, N., Haysom, K.A., Noble, D.G., Outhwaite, C., Powney, G.D., Procter, D., Williams, J. 2015. The priority species indicator: measuring the trends in threatened species in the UK. Biodiversity, 16, 108-119.
    https://www.nature.scot/information-hub/official-statistics/official-statistics-terrestrial-breeding- birds
10   https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2018-09/Scottish%20Biodiversity%20Indicator%20-%20S004%20-%20Abundance%20of%20Wintering%20Waterbirds.pdf
11   https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2020-02/Scottish%20Biodiversity%20Indicator%20-%20S005%20-%20Abundance%20of%20Breeding%20Seabirds%201986-2017.pdf
12   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-indicators-terrestrial-insects
13   https://www.nature.scot/information-hub/official-statistics/official-statistics-protected-sites
14   http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6565
15   2013 Habitats Directive UK Article 17 reporting – http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6391
16   http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4060
17   https://www.nature.scot/species-action-framework-handbook
18   https://www.nature.scot/natural-heritage-funding-opportunities-2017
19   http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/12/7550/291107
20   https://www.nature.scot/plants-animals-and-fungi
21   http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480289.pdf
22   https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and- species/protected-areas/protected-areas-nature-review
23   https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/planning-and-development/social-and-economic- benefits-nature/natural-capital-asset-index
24   State of Nature 2013 – http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/stateofnature_tcm9-345839.pdf
25   August, T., Harvey, M., Lightfoot, P., Kilbey, D., Papadopoulos, T. & Jepson, P. 2015. Emerging technologies for biological recording. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 115, 731-749.
26   Thomsen, P.F. & Willerslev, E. 2015. Environmental DNA – an emerging tool in conservation for monitoring past and present biodiversity. Biological Conservation, 183, 4-18.
27   http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1773
28   https://www.nature.scot/scottish-wildcat-conservation-action-plan
29   https://www.nature.scot/trend-notes-otters-scotland
30   https://www.nature.scot/plants-animals-and-fungi/mosses-and-liverworts
31   Long, D.G. 2006. Grimmia anodon rediscovered on Arthur’s Seat. Field Bryology, 88, 2-3.
32   http://www.npms.org.uk/
33   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-indicators-plants
34   https://www.nature.scot/species-action-framework-handbook
35   http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/paw-scotland/what-you-can-do/hen-harriers
36   http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6851
37   https://www.nature.scot/pollinator-strategy-scotland-2017-2027
38   https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2019-10/State-of-nature-Report-2019-Scotland-full- report.pdf
39   http://www.brc.ac.uk/theme/citizen-science

 

AICHI TARGET 13 – GENETIC DIVERSITY MAINTAINED

By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio- economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

There is no universally agreed metric of how genetic diversity should be measured and the subject itself is complex. However, Scotland has developed metrics for wild species to complement our knowledge of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals. A detailed assessment of key species is published as a supplementary report. The UK’s first Gene Conservation Unit (GCU) was declared at Beinn Eighe in Wester Ross for Scots pine and further GCUs are being developed. Overall there are effective monitoring schemes in place and active genetic conservation programmes.

Crop Plants and Crop Wild Relatives

The botanical element of this target overlaps with Target 9 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation,1 reporting for which is coordinated by Plant Link. Most reporting to date has been undertaken at a UK level. The UK Biodiversity indicator for plant genetic resources2 reports on the genetic diversity of cultivated plants held in UK germplasm collections. The trend shows an increase in the numbers of accessions and is a measure of ex situ conservation of cultivated plants using methodology developed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The Millennium Seed Bank Project made the largest contribution to accessions since 2000 and holds seeds from over 40,000 species. The Project aims to collect and store 25% of the world’s flora by 2020, and already holds all of Scotland’s native species excluding those whose seeds are particularly difficult to store.3

Figure 13.1 Number of flowering plant accessions added per year at UK holding institutes. (Source: EURISCO via JNCC UK biodiversity indicator C9b) up to 2017. The Cumulative Enrichment Index is a proxy measure of genetic diversity based on the number of species collected; the number of accessions collected; the number of countries collected from; and the area from which collection took place.

Figure 13.1

The number of flowering plant accessions added per year at UK holding institutes.
(Source: EURISCO via JNCC UK biodiversity indicator C9b) up to 2017. The Cumulative Enrichment Index is a proxy measure of genetic diversity based on the number of species collected; the number of accessions collected; the number of countries collected from; and the area from which collection took place.

Fielder et al. (2016)4 produced an inventory of 120 crop wild relatives in Scotland and have identified sites for their in situ conservation. Their paper provides a valuable assessment of the status of Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) in Scotland. The (draft) Scottish national inventory of priority CWR contains 102 species and 18 subspecies, approximately 10% of the 1259 CWR taxa present in Scotland. Ex situ accessions for only 11 of the priority CWR are available. Of the 40 accessions for Scottish priority CWR stored in gene banks, 23 are stored at the Genetic Resources Unit, IBERS at Aberystwyth University and the remaining 17 are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew.

The Scottish study found that approximately one third of priority CWR occurrence records are located within nature conservation sites. It was noted that although the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew aims to collect and store accessions for all native plants in the UK, the collection does not necessarily address populations across the UK. As a result accessions might be available for a species occurring in Scotland, but collected from another part of the UK. The report concludes that “conservation of priority CWR in Scotland is incomplete” and that accessions should be collected from all (120) priority CWR from Scotland.

Landraces are crops that have been traditionally grown without formal improvement and can have genetic, heritage and socioeconomic value. Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) holds collections of seven Scottish landraces,5 most of which are from the North and Western Islands. The Scottish Landrace Protection Scheme has been set up to help identify and protect additional landraces as part of Scottish Government’s commitment to conserve plant genetic resources.

Domesticated Mammals

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust compiles an annual watchlist of native breeds, based on the numbers of breeding females in the UK. Data are derived from over 130 breed societies.6

Table 13.1 Status of native domesticated mammals considered to be at risk 2015 – total numbers in each category for the UK and named breeds from Scotland
  Equine Equine Cattle Cattle Sheep Sheep Goats Goats Pigs Pigs
Category Scotland UK Scotland UK Scotland UK Scotland UK Scotland UK
Critical Eriskay 5 - 4 - 0 - 0 - 0
Endangered - 2

Native Aberdeen Angus

2 - 1 - 1 - 0
Vulnerable Clydesdale 1 - 2 Castlemilk moorit North Ronaldsay 7 - 0 - 6
At risk Highland 3 Shetland 3 Soay 10 - 0 - 4
Minority - 1 - 3 - 7 - 1 - 1

 

Other Scottish breeds are not of concern. SRDP has an option to encourage the farming of traditional or native cattle breeds on small units.7 The UK indicator8 tracks numbers of critically endangered breeds from 2000 (Figure 13.2).

Figure 13.2. Average effective UK population size (Ne) of Native Breeds at Risk, 2000 to 2018

Figure 13.2

Average effective UK population size (Ne) of Native Breeds at Risk, 2000 to 2018

Trees

Scotland has over 40 native tree and shrub species,9 with birch, oak, and ash being the most abundant broadleaved species. There are just three native conifer species (Scots pine, yew, and juniper), but plantations of Sitka spruce, Scots pine and larches form a major component of Scottish and UK forest cover. In Scotland, climate change and emerging pest and pathogens are major imminent sources of concern for tree and forest health.

Genetic conservation and maintaining dynamic processes are essential for resilience in the face of these challenges. A Strategy for UK Forest Genetic Resources was launched in 2019.10 One aim outlined in this strategy is to use the UK’s existing network of protected sites as a starting point to establish a formally recognised set of Gene Conservation Units for UK tree species. When this step is addressed, this will align and integrate forest genetic conservation in the UK, with the wider European forest genetic resource landscape. This process has started, with the first Gene Conservation Unit in the UK being designated in 2019 at Beinn Eighe, Wester Ross.

The UK National Tree Seed Project is working to seed-bank representative material from across the UK to obtain seed collections from 75 tree species, and as of November 2019, this had resulted in the collection of more than 10 million seeds from over 10,600 trees across the UK.11 Work is also underway to develop cryopreservation approaches for species whose seeds are not possible to store in conventional seedbanks. In addition, extensive forest germplasm is held by various tree breeding programmes and in seed orchards.

Other Species of Socio-economic Importance

There is no universally agreed metric of how genetic diversity should be measured12,a lack of guidance for identifying focal species of socio-economic importance, and no clear mechanism for addressing T13 for these species once they have been identified. To address this, a panel of scientists under the auspices of Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI) identified a set of criteria for defining terrestrial and freshwater species of socio-economic importance in Scotland, and selected an initial list of 26 species. The criteria applied were: national conservation priority wild species; species of national cultural importance; species providing key ecosystem services; species of importance for wild harvesting (food and medicine); and economically important game species. They developed a simple, readily applicable scorecard method for assessing risks to the conservation of genetic diversity in these species. The scorecard approach is not dependent on prior genetic knowledge. Instead it uses structured expert assessments of risks such as demographic declines likely to lead to loss of genetic diversity (genetic erosion, hybridisation, and restrictions to regeneration/turnover likely to impede evolutionary change. For plant species where seed-banking is a viable mechanism for holding genetic resources ex situ, the report also considers the representativeness of these ex situ collections.13

Overall, this scorecard provides a mechanism for incorporating ‘other species of socio- economic importance’ into T13 actions and reporting. Furthermore, its application is not restricted to Aichi T13 as the approach is designed as a generic scorecard for genetic diversity. It is thus relevant to post-2020 CBD targets focusing on genetic diversity. Future priorities include: extension to other species of socio-economic, commercial and cultural importance (with the inclusion of marine species being a particularly high priority); harmonising genetic conservation strategies between sectors (drawing on commonalities), whilst minimising disruption of existing well-established methodologies within sectors, and greater incorporation of genomic data into monitoring genetic diversity (particularly in the agricultural and forestry sectors where data availability is potentially high).

The findings of this project are published as a supplementary report.14

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP9 – Conservation of priority species

Deliver focussed action for priority species in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Targeted support for sustainable land management


tick - on track

 

A13 References end notes

1     http://www.plants2020.net/target-9
2     http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6573
3     https://www.kew.org/wakehurst/whats-at-wakehurst/millennium-seed-bank
4     Fielder, H. et al. 2016. Enhancing the conservation of crop wild relatives in Scotland. Journal of Nature Conservation, 29, 51-61.
    https://www.sasa.gov.uk/variety-testing/scottish-landraces/scottish-landrace-protection-scheme- slps
    https://www.rbst.org.uk/watchlist-overview
7     https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotland-rural-development-programme-srdp-2014-2020-stage-2-final-proposals/pages/27/
    http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4240
    https://forestry.gov.scot/forests-environment/biodiversity/native-woodlands/native-woodland- survey-of-scotland-nwss
10   https://www.kew.org/sites/default/files/2019- 06/UK%20Forest%20Genetic%20Resources%20Strategy.pdf
11   https://www.kew.org/science/our-science/projects/uk-national-tree-seed-project
12   Rivers, M.C. et al. 2014. Do species conservation assessments capture genetic diversity? Global Ecology and Conservation, 2, 81-87.
13   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity-progress-2020-aichi-targets-conserving-genetic-diversity-development-national
14   https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity-progress-2020-aichi-targets-aichi-target-13-genetic-diversity-maintained

 

AICHI TARGET 14 - ECOSYSTEMS & SERVICES SAFEGUARDED

By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

Scotland has a variety of ecosystems which provide essential services for environmental, cultural, recreational and economic purposes. These include large rivers and lochs, woodlands along with an extensive coastline and marine area. The overall measure shows Scotland’s natural capital deteriorated historically until the 1990s. Most habitat types were declining during this period, especially bogs and grassland. However, stocks have stabilised or slightly improved since 2000. Numerous policies, directives and legislation help us to safeguard these ecosystems. The biodiversity duty placed on all public sector bodies in Scotland further protects them. Clean drinking water is widely available with 99.91% of samples at point of use meeting EU Drinking Water Directive standards.

The ecosystems found in Scotland, with their rich environmental and biological structures, and their variability, reflect the combined geography of climate, geology, and soils in Scotland, as well as a long history of human land-use and management.

The Natural Capital Asset Index (NCAI) helps us assess a vital part of Scotland's prosperity. Scotland's natural capital assets are the basis for our quality of life, so it is crucial that they are protected or enhanced to benefit the current and the next generation of people living in our country. Scotland’s Economic Strategy recognises that investment in natural capital is, “fundamental to a healthy and resilient economy”.1

Historically the NCAI measure for Scotland’s natural capital deteriorated until the 1990s. Most habitat types were declining during this period, especially bogs and grassland. Since 2000, stocks have stabilised and the NCAI is now at its highest level (Figure 14.1).

Figure 14.1 Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index published in 2019

Figure 14.1

Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index published in 2019

Individual ecosystems show a mixed picture – woodland; coastal; inland surface waters; and grassland show increasing trends whereas there are marked decreases for mires, bogs, fens; agriculture & cultivated, and heathland, though the latter shows recent signs of recovery.

Habitats in Scotland

NatureScot is developing a new, standardised, Habitat Map of Scotland, an objective of Scotland's 2020 Biodiversity Route Map. For the first time this brings together all useable habitat information for Scotland, classified to a common European standard. This provides a powerful tool for the management of our natural heritage. NatureScot will continue to update and refine the Habitat Map of Scotland to improve data resolution and so aid informed decision making.

Table. 14.1 Area of EUNIS Level 1 habitats in Scotland mapped to mean low water spring.

 
EUNIS Level 1 Class km2 %

Heathland, scrub and tundra

20,001

25.0

Grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses or lichens

18,874

23.6

Woodland, forest and other wooded land

14,245

17.8

Mires, bogs & fens

9,603

12.0

Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural & domestic habitats

6,497

8.1

Constructed, industrial and other artificial habitats

3,345

4.2

Montane habitats

2,870

3.6

Inland surface waters

2,497

3.1

Marine habitats

1,171

1.5

Inland unvegetated or sparsely vegetated habitats

401

0.5

Coastal habitats

391

0.5

Habitat complexes

148

0.2

Total

80,044

100

 

Freshwater Ecosystems

Scotland has sizeable freshwater resources: 125,000 km of rivers, 27,000 lochs, over 198,000 ponds and 220 km of canals.2

Rivers, lochs, canals and pondscover about 2% of our land area. Together, they make up around 70% of the total surface area of freshwater, and contain 90% of the volume of freshwater in the UK.

We receive many benefits from freshwater ecosystems,4 habitats and wildlife. Freshwater is used for drinking, irrigation, transport, fishing, recreation and food processing. Compliance with the standards set out in Scottish legislation and in the EU Drinking Water Directive in 2018 was 99.90%, demonstrating the continuing high quality of drinking water that consumers in Scotland receive. Standards have improved more or less continuously from levels of 99.14% in 2003. Microbial compliance in particular has improved.5 Clean water is a key ingredient in our greatest international export, whisky, which is responsible for over 13% of Scotland’s exports by value.6 Freshwater habitats can help control flooding, naturally treat or break down human and industrial waste, and support plant and animal life, including charismatic species like Atlantic salmon.2

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Scotland has around 19,000 km of coastline, which makes up 8% of Europe's coast (about 20% of the EU’s coast). The area from the coast to our fishery limits (470,000 km2) is around six times the size of the land area of Scotland. Scottish coastal and estuarine habitats are full of rich, diverse and fragile sea life that is under considerable pressure and shows signs of damage, but may be recovered through sustainable management. The main pressures come from fishing; aquaculture; litter; development; pollution; and non-native species.7

Terrestrial Ecosystems

Scotland’s land is a fundamental asset. We grow food and timber on it; we build our houses and roads on it; much of our water filters through and is purified by it; it stores carbon and supports Scotland’s range of habitats and species, some of which are internationally important.8 Almost all of Scotland’s land has been shaped by human activity, over many centuries.

By 2013, 17.8% of Scotland was covered by woodland with a mixture of native and non- native planting helping to achieve this– an increase from only 4.5% at the beginning of the 20th century.7 As a result of human influence and climate change, no woodlands in Scotland can be considered truly natural. Likewise, most of the uplands have been modified through grazing, muir-burning, drainage, forest planting and deposition of pollutants from the atmosphere, and so near-natural habitats are now rare.

Scotland’s land is very important to the economy; agriculture, forestry and tourism based on the enjoyment of Scotland’s landscapes and its historic environment make important contributions.4 Agriculture is vital to our rural communities, providing much-needed jobs and contributing to the rural economy, although many agricultural activities are only economically viable because of external support payments.

In the last five years the biggest transformation of our landscapes has taken place through wind-farm development and gradual changes as a result of built development. Changes in farming and forestry practice are also altering our landscape, such as increased tree planting on farms.

Relevant policies, assessments and Strategies

The UK National Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis for Scotland provides an overview of Scotland’s ecosystem services. There are over 30 policies and strategies applicable to ecosystems and services.

List 14.2 Policies and Strategies applicable to environmental systems in Scotland.

  1. Air Quality Directive
  2. Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain (2005)
  3. Bathing Water Directive
  4. Biomass Action Plan for Scotland 2007
  5. Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009)
  6. Climate Change Adaptation Framework (2009)
  7. Climate Change Delivery Plan (2009)
  8. Common Agricultural Policy Reform (2014)
  9. Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010
  10. EU Animal Health Law
  11. EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008)
  12. EU Water Framework Directive (2000)
  13. European Nitrates Directive & Nitrate Vulnerable Zone Action Programmes
  14. Farming for a Better Climate Initiative (2009)
  15. Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act (2009)
  16. Government Economic Strategy (2007)
  17. Healthy Eating, Active Living (2008)
  18. Implementation Plan for the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy in Scotland (2003)
  19. Land Use Strategy (2011)
  20. National Planning Framework for Scotland
  21. OECD Rural Policy Review. Scotland, UK (2008)
  22. Recipe for Success – The Scottish Food and Drink Policy (2009)
  23. Reducing our ecological footprint (Scottish Government Performance Framework Indicator)
  24. Renewables Action Plan (2009)
  25. Review of 2010 Biodiversity Targets
  26. Scotland’s Marine Nature Conservation Strategy (2011)
  27. Scotland’s National Marine Plan (2015)
  28. Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (2008)
  29. Scottish Biodiversity Strategy
  30. Scottish Forestry Strategy (2006)
  31. Scottish Government Rural Framework (2010-2011)
  32. Scottish Government Vision for Water Industry in Scotland (2010)
  33. Scottish Soil Framework
  34. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (2010)
  35. Other policy areas as appropriate to specific issues (e.g. Planning, Transport, Energy, Rural Housing)

Restoring Ecosystems

Peatland, woodland and fresh water are all Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Priority Project areas where focussed efforts to restore them are underway. For example, Peatland ACTION has begun restoration on more than 10,000 hectares of degraded peatlands.9

Green urban areas are also important for our health and well-being. The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention10 aims to improve Scotland’s urban environment by increasing and enhancing multifunctional greenspace in our towns and cities, especially close to areas of multiple deprivation. This will make these areas more attractive for people to live and work in, and therefore attract jobs, businesses and further investment. It will also increase available habitat for biodiversity in urban areas and create and improve habitat networks, and will improve environmental quality for example through using green infrastructure to manage flood risk. This Intervention, part of the 2014–2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will deliver a total value of £37.5m of investment throughout the course of the programme.

 

Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Ambitious peatland restoration programme underway, contributing to the EU15% degraded ecosystem restoration target

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of fresh waters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP4 – Investment in natural capital

Businesses are more aware of their reliance on Scotland's natural capital, and more investment is being made in building natural capital.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP10 – Improving ecological connection

Improve connectivity between habitats and ecosystems.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP12 – Increase environmental status of our seas

10% of Scotland’s seas to be incorporated in nature conservation Marine Protected Areas.

 

tick - on track

 

A14 References end notes

1   https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/planning-and-development/social-and-economic-benefits-nature/natural-capital-asset-index
2   https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/water/scotland-s-freshwater/
3   https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/habitats/pond/
4   http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/Resources/tabid/82/Default.aspx
5   http://dwqr.scot/media/39029/dwqr-annual-report-2017-public-water-supply.pdf
6   http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00514198.pdf
7   https://www.environment.gov.scot/media/1176/water-estuaries-and-coastal.pdf
8   https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/explore-ecosystem-health-indicators/
9   https://www.nature.scot/climate-change/nature-based-solutions/peatland-action
10  https://www.greeninfrastructurescotland.scot/

 

AICHI TARGET 15 – ECOSYSTEMS RESTORED & RESILIENCE ENHANCED

By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Reversing ecosystem degradation, loss and fragmentation are key aims of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. Considerable efforts have been made on restoration of some of Scotland’s most threatened habitats over the past few years. In particular peatlands and rivers have seen focused efforts which help towards Scotland’s climate change targets. Rivers have seen continuous improvement in condition over the last 25 years. The area of woodland has more than trebled since 1900, though much of this is non- native commercial plantations.

Ecosystem Restoration in Scotland

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy; 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity1 identifies peatlands, native woodlands, freshwaters and the sea as priority habitats for restoration; to support carbon capture and adaptation to climate change. Restoration is best achieved by working in partnership. There are a number of companies, organisations, groups, individuals, charities and volunteers involved in restoration projects. These are critical to the success and the long-term survival of restoration.

Peatland Restoration

Scotland’s peatlands are of international importance. The estimated total area of peatland in Scotland is 2 million hectarescovering around 20% of the land area of Scotland.3 Degradation and fragmentation have historically affected 80%4 of peatland; with raised bog and blanket bog most damaged. By working with a range of stakeholders, efforts to restore these for the benefit of people and nature, and to help tackle the effects of climate change are underway.

Peatlands are an important carbon store, holding around 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon and rates of carbon sequestration for restored peatland are estimated at 2.45 t C/ha/year. As stores of carbon they are supremely important in helping to tackle climate change; as homes for nature they are special and unique; and as the raw ingredient of rural farming, tourism and crofting they are vital. Healthy peatlands5 provide many benefits to us all. As part of SNH’s vision for healthy peatlands in Scotland, the Peatland ACTION6 project began in 2012 and has delivered on the ground for over 10,000 ha. In 2015 Scotland’s National Peatland Plan7 was published to highlight the major contribution peatlands make to Scotland and foster working in partnership. In 2018/19 funding of £6m was available for peatland restoration.

Figure 15.1 Peatland restoration sites 2012 -2014. (Source: Climate Exchange/James Hutton Institute)

Figure 15.1

Peatland restoration sites 2012 -2014. (Source: Climate Exchange/James Hutton Institute)

Native Woodland Restoration

Scotland has a very low percentage of woodland cover compared with other countries in Europe, although it has increased over the last century. In 1900 only 5% of Scotland was covered in forest, but cover now totals around 18% (1.4 million ha) for woodland of all types, including commercial conifer plantations. The vision of the Scottish Forestry Strategy8 is "in 2070, Scotland will have more forests and woodlands, sustainably managed and better integrated with other land uses. These will provide a more resilient, adaptable resource, with greater natural capital value, that supports a strong economy, a thriving environment, and healthy and flourishing communities."

The Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS) was carried out between 2006-2013 to establish the first authoritative picture of Scotland’s native woodlands.9 A total of 311,153ha of native woodland (woods with 50% or more of the canopy made up of native species) were recorded. Upland birchwoods made up 29% and pinewoods 28% of the total area of native woodland.10 Of the 87,599ha of native pinewoods around 20% are Caledonian pinewoods – the remnants of the large pine forest that once extended across Highland Scotland. Native woodland condition was recorded as moderate overall, with 46% of total area in satisfactory health for biodiversity. The largest single threat to native woodland health and survival is herbivore impact, with around a third of the total area of woodland affected. Deer were the most widespread type of herbivore recorded and are likely to be the major source of impacts.10 Non-native species were the second largest adverse factor.10

Some native woodlands have seen particularly focussed efforts. For example, at Wildland Ltd (Glen Feshie and Glen Tromie), RSPB (Abernethy), FLS (Glenmore, Rothiemurchus and Inshriach) and SNH (Invereshie), a partnership of neighbouring land managers have committed to an ambitious 200-year vision, Cairngorms Connect, to enhance habitats, species and ecological processes over 600 km2 within the Cairngorms National Park .11,12 The volunteer-led re-wilding projects at Carrifran Wildwood13 managed by the charity Trees for Life has seen over 300 hectares of woodland planted in a bid to restore woodland as part of a plan to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest and expand its range. There are also numerous community-led local woodlands, providing multiple benefits for biodiversity and people.

Scotland’s woodland sequestered a net total of 9.1 MtCO2 equivalents in 2011. Without this, total Scottish net emissions would have been 18% higher. However, following a period of low historic rates of woodland planting, net carbon sequestration rates are reducing year-on- year due to the lower proportion of young trees in Scottish forests.14

Freshwater Restoration

Scotland has approximately 125,000km of rivers and 220km of canals.15 Scotland has for the past 25 years focused effort towards helping protect and improve the quality of our waters through action to prevent and reduce pollution. There are ambitious targets to achieve further improvements over the coming years. The ultimate aim is for 96% of our rivers to be at good or high status/potential for habitats, water quality and flow and a reduction in the impacts from invasive non-native species by 2027.

Of the 25,000 km of rivers that are monitored and assessed, more than half are in good condition or better. This includes most of the rivers in the Highlands and Islands, where there are fewer pressures on the environment. Conditions in the Central Belt and in more intensively farmed areas are improving but still are subject to further amelioration works.16 The figure for all surface waters shows 62% in good or high condition.17

Figure 15.2 Status of Scotland’s surface waters, 2016. (Source SEWeb)

Figure 15.2

Status of Scotland’s surface waters, 2016. (Source SEWeb)

Legislation is a significant driver to assist in the restoration of engineered river systems to bring them closer to their previously natural state and authorisation to undertake river engineering must now be obtained from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). There are also government-supported mechanisms in place. SEPA are responsible for administering the Water Environment Fund18. This funding from the Scottish Government seeks to restore the condition of Scotland's water environment and to support partnership projects with third parties. Information from the River Restoration Centre shows that nearly 200 restoration projects have been completed throughout Scotland.19 These include large catchment scale projects such as the Tweed Forum – aiming to protect, enhance and restore the rich natural, built and cultural heritage of the River Tweed and its tributaries.20 Good examples of smaller, locally led projects include the Dunglass Island River Restoration Project,21 which successfully restored a new spawning channel on the Conon River in North Scotland.

Phase 3 of the IUCN river restoration22 and biodiversity project is underway. The aim of Phase 3 is to establish a network of restoration sites across the UK and Republic of Ireland at which particular techniques may be trialled to illustrate the true benefits for biodiversity.

Monitoring and appraisal will be key elements of the work. This project will gather enough evidence to present a compelling case for restoring rivers for biodiversity and so secure funding for restoration projects.

Marine

Scotland has around 470,000 square kilometres of seas in which more than 1,700 megatonnes of inorganic carbon, mainly in the form of calcium carbonate, are stored as non- living material such as mollusc and crab shells, and the skeletons of microscopic plants (phytoplankton) coral, and maerl.

So-called 'blue' carbon is captured and stored across a range of seabed types such as kelp forests, saltmarsh, seagrass beds, cold-water coral reefs, flame shell and mussel beds, and maerl that play a vital role in tackling climate change, much the same as onshore peatlands. But these habitats face challenges - maerl beds and coral reefs are subject to climate change and trawling, while seagrasses and saltmarsh can be affected by coastal erosion and various development activities. When damaged, these habitats cannot retain as much carbon and may become a source of greenhouse gases.

Many of these carbon storing habitats are Priority Marine features23 and as such are covered by the National Marine Plan policies relating to safeguarding and enhancing these features. Controls are in place for some marine features, such as restricting damaging operations in areas known to contain flame-shells.24 Typically improving marine environments is undertaken by reducing pressures such as through controlling activities such as trawling, dredging or mineral extraction. Scotland’s National Marine Plan provides policies on ecosystem enhancement in relation to natural heritage, natural coastal processes and blue carbon.25

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Peatland Action - store and sequestrate carbon through peatland management covering 5,100 ha.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Flow Country Peatland Restoration - setting an international benchmark for good practice.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Increase the amount of native woodland in good condition (upwards from 46% as identified by the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland).

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

3,000 to 5,000 ha new native woodland creation per year.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP2 – Restoration of native woodlands

Restore approximately 10,000 ha of native woodland into satisfactory condition in partnership with private woodland owners through Deer Management Plans.

 

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

PP3 – Restoration of freshwaters

Achieve agreed ecological water quality objectives under the Water Framework Directive of river and lake water bodies and to contribute to meeting conservation objectives (including Natura 2000 sites) through scoping improvements to physical modifications.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A15 References end notes

       http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0042/00425276.pdf
2        https://www.nature.scot/climate-change/taking-action/peatland-action
       https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2017-07/A1697542%20-%20150730%20-%20peatland_plan.pdf
       https://www.hutton.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/publications/Peatlands%20final_web_reduced%20size.pdf
5        https://www.nature.scot/climate-change/taking-action/carbon-management/restoring-scotlands- peatlands/scotlands-national-peatland-plan
6        https://www.nature.scot/climate-change/nature-based-solutions/peatland-action
       https://www.nature.scot/climate-change/taking-action/carbon-management/restoring-scotlands- peatlands/scotlands-national-peatland-plan
8        http://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-forestry-strategy-20192029/
       http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/supporting/strategy-policy-guidance/native-woodland-survey-of- scotland-nwss
10      https://forestry.gov.scot/publications/74-scotland-s-native-woodlands-results-from-the-native-woodland-survey-of-scotland/download
11      http://www.forestpolicygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/The-Benefits-of-Woodland-Part- II.pdf
12      http://cairngormsconnect.org.uk/
13      http://www.carrifran.org.uk/
14      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/06/6387/11
15      https://www.environment.gov.scot/media/1177/water-freshwater-lochs.pdf
16      https://www.environment.gov.scot/media/1179/water-rivers-and-canals.pdf /
17      https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health- indicators/condition-indicators/indicator-6-freshwater/
18      https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/water-environment-fund/
19      http://www.therrc.co.uk/river-restoration
20      http://www.tweedforum.org/
21      http://www.therrc.co.uk/sites/default/files/projects/p466.pdf
22      http://www.crew.ac.uk/publication/river-restoration
23      https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and-species/priority- marine-features-scotlands-seas/
24      http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/developing/2017MPA
25      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/6517

 

AICHI TARGET 16 - NAGOYA PROTOCOL IN FORCE & OPERATIONAL

By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio- economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

The UK signed the Nagoya Protocol in 2011. Following public consultation in 2014 the Nagoya Protocol (User Compliance) Regulations 2015 were laid before the UK Parliament on 23 March 2015. Guidance on compliance and provision of an Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) information platform provides a key tool for facilitating the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

The Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya protocol aims to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by ensuring that any benefits derived from genetic research are fairly shared with the owners of those genetic resources.

The UK signed the protocol in June 2011 and it is now part of UK law under The Nagoya Protocol (Compliance) Regulations 2015.1 This legislation applies, in the main, to a number of sectors including; food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care, animal breeding, plant breeding, biotechnology, bio-control and academia.

In order to support businesses and others working in these sectors the UK government undertook a consultation2 on implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and has now developed guidance for stakeholders and policymakers.3

Sharing best practice

There are a number of platforms that support best practice, provide guidance4 and provide legal clarity5 for users including Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-house (ABSCH) developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

A16 References end notes

1  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/821/pdfs/uksi_20150821_en.pdf?
2  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/biodiversity-implementing-the-nagoya-protocol-in-the-uk
3  http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0&ProjectID=17827
 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2016.313.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:C:2016:313:TOC
5  https://absch.cbd.int/

 

AICHI TARGET 17 - NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY & ACTION PLAN

By 2015 each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy; 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity was approved by the Scottish Cabinet and published in 2013. This document sets the strategic direction for biodiversity action in Scotland towards 2030. The Route Map to 2020, published in 2015, provides a clear focus for activity which will significantly contribute to the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. Both documents represent the policy instruments for biodiversity in Scotland.

Scottish Biodiversity Strategy

Following the publication by the Convention on Biological Diversity of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20201 the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy It’s in Your Hands(2004) was reviewed. In 2013 the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy; 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity3 was approved by the Scottish Cabinet. In 2015 a Route Map to 2020 set out the large scale collaborative action that would significantly contribute to the strategy. Two progress reports have been published in 2016 and 2018.4

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act5 2004 requires the government to report on progress6 with the biodiversity strategy every three years. The latest progress report was laid before Parliament in 2017

To ensure strategies, policies and actions are contributing to the international Aichi Targets interim progress reports have been produced for 20167 20178 and this current one for 2019.

UK biodiversity framework

In the UK the devolved administrations produce country level biodiversity strategies, each linked to the CBD Aichi targets. A UK Biodiversity Framework is in place to ensure reporting at UK level, and identify the activities needed to galvanise and complement country strategies in pursuit of the Aichi targets.

A17 References end notes

1  https://www.cbd.int/sp/
2  http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/25954/0014583.pdf
3  http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0042/00425276.pdf
4  https://www.nature.scot/scottish-biodiversity-strategy-route-map-2020-snh-delivery-agreement- 2015-2018
5  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2004/6/pdfs/asp_20040006_en.pdf
 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/biodiversity/progressreport1
7  https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2018-05/Aichi%20Report%20Interim%202016.pdf
8  https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2018-05/Aichi%20Report%20Interim%202017.pdf

 

AICHI TARGET 18 - TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE RESPECTED

By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Scotland’s traditional languages and the knowledge held by their speakers have gained greater protection since 2005, following the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. New research is safeguarding and sharing traditional knowledge. The rights of communities have been enhanced through several pieces of legislation, particularly since 2000. Traditional land management practices, such as crofting, benefit nationally and internationally important biodiversity.

Scotland was one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution and has been at the forefront of modern thinking since the Scottish Enlightenment, beginning in the 18th Century. Despite accidental, and at times deliberate, suppression of traditional knowledge, local communities have preserved and continue to develop practices, customs and language.

Respect for indigenous language

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 20051 was passed without opposition by the Scottish Parliament with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language. At that time it was felt that the position of the language was extremely fragile and the declining numbers of those speaking Gaelic fluently or as a mother-tongue in the language's traditional heartlands threatened the survival of Gaelic as a living language in Scotland. SNH have led a project to compile a lexicon of biodiversity terms2 and have recently published an on-line database of ferns and their traditional and modern Gaelic names. The aim of this project is to maintain people’s links to biodiversity, keeping it at the heart of our culture.

One of the key features of the 2005 Act is the provision enabling Bòrd na Gàidhlig (the Scottish Government's principal Gaelic development body) to require public bodies to prepare Gaelic Language Plans.3 This provision was designed to ensure that the public sector in Scotland plays its part in creating a sustainable future for Gaelic by raising its status and profile and creating practical opportunities for its use. The Bòrd also publishes five-year National Gaelic Language Plans, the latest of which runs from 2017-2022.

Numbers of speakers of indigenous languages

In the latest census, just over one per cent (1.1 per cent or 58,000 people) of the population aged 3 and over in Scotland were able to speak Gaelic, a slight fall from 1.2 per cent (59,000) in 2001, with around 25,000 using the language at home. Over 1.5 million people reported that they could speak Scots (not recorded in 2001), though only 56,000 said they used the language at home.4

Schools

The latest figures for the language in Scotland are for 2018-195 with 2006-07 figures in parentheses: 3,415 (2,092) pupils were enrolled in Gaelic Medium primary education and 1,133 (945) secondary school pupils were studying Gàidhlig for fluent speakers and/or other subjects in high school through the medium of Gaelic. Six primary schools (one with secondary provision) are Gaelic Medium only: Edinburgh, Glasgow (two), Inverness and Fort William, with Portree the most recent to open in April 2018.

Traditional knowledge safeguarded

Scotland’s traditional biodiversity knowledge is probably better documented than most countries. However new technology is being applied to ensure it is not lost. This includes the SNH led project of Gaelic biodiversity terms.6

Crofting is a traditional land use in Scotland, in recent years the numbers of individuals involved in crofting has declined. Crofting is vital in creating much of Scotland’s landscape, such as machair, an internationally important habitat rich in biodiversity. The Crofting Commission7 is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which operates on a day-to-day basis independently of the government, but for which Scottish Ministers are ultimately responsible. The Crofting Commission’s principal function is regulating crofting, re- organising crofting, promoting the interests of crofting and keeping under review matters relating to crofting. Protecting crofting is being assisted with projects such as Crofting Connections,8 this will help ensure that many of the traditional methods and knowledge are captured for future generations.

Community Empowerment in biodiversity decision making

Scottish Government and non-departmental public bodies such as SEPA and Scottish Natural Heritage consult with stakeholders to get their views on proposed new work. This applies to biodiversity and the environment as well as other topics. Recent examples include: the Climate Change Bill,9 marine protected areas10 and wild land11. More examples can be found on the following websites:

https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/ 
https://www.nature.scot/about-naturescot/consultations/our-consultations

At a less formal level, Scottish Government and its agencies also work with communities on topics that will affect them, whether through for a such as the Moorland Forum12 or the Tweed Forum,13 or through direct contact. This has enabled the development of practices which combine the best of traditional knowledge with up-to-date scientific understanding such as the Muirburn Code.14 This approach benefits both communities and biodiversity.

The rights of communities have been enhanced through several pieces of legislation, in particular the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000,15 the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003,16 the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 201517 and the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.18

A18 References end notes

1   http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2005/7
2   https://www.nature.scot/about-snh/access-information-and-services/gaelic/
3   http://www.gaidhlig.scot/bord/the-national-gaelic-language-plan/
 http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/
5   https://www.gov.scot/publications/pupil-census-supplementary-statistics/
 https://www.nature.scot/about-snh/access-information-and-services/gaelic/dictionary-gaelic-nature-words
7   http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/
 https://www.crofting.org/project/crofting-connections/
 https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/climate-change-bill/
10 https://www.nature.scot/proposed-marine-spas-supporting-documents
11 https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/landscape/landscape-policy-and-guidance/landscape-policy-wild-land
12 http://www.moorlandforum.org.uk/
13 http://www.tweedforum.org/
14 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/08/09125203/0
15 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/law/17975/Abolition
16 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/2/contents
17 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2015/6/pdfs/asp_20150006_en.pdf
18 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2016/18/pdfs/asp_20160018_en.pdf

 

AICHI TARGET 19 - KNOWLEDGE IMPROVED, SHARED AND APPLIED

By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

Scotland has made significant efforts in data delivery and data management systems with The National Biodiversity Network Atlas Scotland, Scotland’s, Environment Web, and the Marine Scotland data publishing portal all contributing greatly to improving sharing and application of Scotland’s knowledge. The 2019 State of Nature in Scotland report was produced by a partnership of NGOs and Government agencies. The report is an agreed evidence base with transparent methods and is accessible to all. Volunteers and researchers make large contributions to the numbers of species and habitats records and the way we use them. The Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF) Review is looking at the future options for biological data management across Scotland as part of the process to ensure that the necessary structures are in place to collect and disseminate biological information. Improved information on the consequences in the loss, values, and functions of Scotland’s biodiversity, could aid us in prioritising conservation action.1

Sharing and application of Scotland’s biodiversity knowledge

Much of Scotland’s biodiversity information is made publically available through web-portals such as NBN Atlas Scotland launched in 2017;2 National Marine Plan interactive,3,4 and Scotland’s Environment Web5 (SEWeb). The NBN Trust is committed to NBN Atlas data being open access by default (with sensitive species data access caveats)6. SEWeb is the gateway to Scotland’s environment information and data, including the Habitat Map of Scotland.7 In 2009, the EU INSPIRE Directive (2007) was transposed into Scottish law by the formation of the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations, to ensure that spatial data are shared to the benefit of society and environmental policy.8 Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy commits to making environmental data accessible to anyone, via the Internet, free of restriction on use. This enables those deciding on actions to conserve or restore biodiversity to have the information they need to choose measures that are likely to be effective. For example, Scottish Natural Heritage systematically shares scientific information from reports and makes it publically accessible to practitioners and other conservation decision makers through the Conservation Evidence Project.9,10 This is a two-way process with SNH contributing case studies and information,11 and also using evidence from the Conservation Evidence database to support its own work.

Species and habitat data are collected by many different groups: our national schemes and societies,12 NGOs, local records centres;13 statutory agencies such as SNH and SEPA; Scotland’s National Parks and local authorities; industry and developers; academic/research14 institutions and, by the general public through citizen science initiatives,15 such as the UK Open Air Laboratories project (OPAL), the Scottish Wildlife Counts project, the iSpot mobile phone app, and the iRecord data entry web application. The Scottish Biodiversity Forum (SBIF)16 is a community-led forum bringing together stakeholders from organisations involved in the collection, management, sharing and use of species or habitat data (the data flow infrastructure) both in the terrestrial and marine environment. The Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum was established in 2012 to facilitate the improvement of the flow of biodiversity data between organisations and individuals that collect data, and users of that data, with the aim of benefitting biodiversity. A review of SBIF was launched in 2016 to determine the best infrastructure for biological recording in Scotland. The objectives of the review included: establishing and embedding preferred models for data flow, service provision, governance and funding; providing consistent high quality services equally accessible to all public bodies in support of their statutory Biodiversity Duty and strategic goals; and, establishing a feedback mechanism for recorders and data providers to showcase the use of their records and to value their contribution.

The next steps will include completing the Review phase and moving on to the Advocacy phase, including priming of Funders and seeking decisions from Scottish Government and others, with the Implementation phase running through until 2023/25 when the new infrastructure will go completely live.17

Data on biodiversity are used to inform policy and underpin advice. They are essential to such diverse projects as our efforts to protect, restore and secure freshwater pearl mussel populations,18 and the spatial targeting of agri-environment payments.19 Data on biodiversity are essential for reporting on our international obligations under the Habitats and Birds Directives and on the Aichi Targets. Our understanding of the health and value of ecosystems is underpinned by biodiversity data. They are also critical elements of much of our official national reporting measures, for example Scotland’s National Performance Framework contains three national indicators that rely on biodiversity data20 and Biodiversity Trends and Indicators21 are reported on officially by SNH. Data can be reported on a Scotland scale (for example, Scotland’s National Performance Indicators,22 the Marine Atlas,23 and Scottish Natural Heritage’s Indicators and Trends24), and on a UK scale (for example, the UK Biodiversity Indicators25 and the Biological Records Centre work programme including development of data analytical tools and new technologies26). The new suite of Ecosystem Health Indicators being developed for Scotland is mainly based on a river catchment level and some data can be accessed at an even more local level.27

The State of Nature report28 shows from 1994 to 2016, 49% of Scottish species have decreased and 28% have increased in abundance. Following on from the State of Nature reports in 2013 and 2016, experts from more than 70 wildlife organisations joined with Government agencies to present the clearest picture to date of the status of species across the land and sea. SNH staff gathered data used in both the Scottish and UK reports, and helped to interpret what was found, enabling us collectively to make the 2019 report an agreed evidence base for the status of biodiversity. Most of the underlying data was provided by volunteers and other citizen scientists.

These trends and indicators show we have some good evidence of how our nature is changing in Scotland and the UK. The value we place on biodiversity forms part of our Natural Capital Asset Index (data on the area and quality of broad terrestrial habitats are used to help assess the sustainability of Scotland’s economic growth).29 There are still gaps in our knowledge of the values and functioning of biodiversity that we are working to fill, however. The Scottish Government Environment and Economy Leaders Group (EELG) is moving forward the work initiated by the Rural Affairs Food and Environment (RAFE) Biodiversity and Ecosystems work package, which identified key knowledge gaps and “will deliver improved understanding of the processes contributing to the functioning and resilience of our natural assets, in particular biodiversity”30. This has shaped the Ecosystem Health Indicators first published in 2017 (covering condition, function and resilience indicators),31 the Scottish Pollinator Strategy,32 and ongoing Scottish Biodiversity Strategy priority projects (see table below), including peatland restoration.

The involvement of recorders and recording schemes across Scotland is crucial in collecting relevant data to underpin the above strategies and work. There is some recent scientific evidence based on records from 18 national recording schemes, of declining resilience of ecosystem functions with the loss of the UK’s biodiversity. The paper shows declining trends in the UK’s species that provide pest control, pollination and cultural values, but that those species trends providing decomposition and carbon sequestration “remain relatively stable”.33

Terrestrial and marine habitat Information

The Habitat Map of Scotland makes all existing terrestrial habitat survey data and supplementary land use data available in one place and all classified to the pan – European EUNIS/Annex I standard. This map is available to download and to view on Scotland’s Environment Web.34 To support development of the Habitat Map a revised manual of terrestrial EUNIS habitats was published in 2017.35

We have good data coverage for woodlands (native and commercial), freshwater and coastal habitats as well as for urban and agricultural land. We also have almost complete coverage for designated areas. We are developing effective methods to allow us to effectively map upland areas where at present the data resolution is poor. Progress has been on making soil information available to wider audiences, including farmers,36 other land managers37 and to support grant applications for forestry38 and peatland restoration (Peatland Action).39

Information on marine habitats is available using the Marine Habitat Classification on National Marine Plan interactive40 and there is a UK marine EUNIS map. Scotland's Marine Atlas, a detailed assessment of the condition of Scotland's seas, based on scientific evidence from data and analysis, supported by expert judgement, is available in hard copy, as a download and as an eBook.41 Copies of the Atlas and a related school pack were sent to all schools in Scotland. We are aware that more data needs to be collected to map the marine environment.

Information on trends and the rate of habitat loss or gain is limited at this time, as the Habitat Map is currently focussed on establishing a reliable baseline for habitats and land-use.

Species information

As of December 2019 the NBN held 25.8M records for over 24,000 species from Scotland. This trend towards increasing data accessibility is set to continue and is mirrored in the UK indicator for biodiversity data for decision-making (2004-2019).42 The new NBN Atlas makes these data easier to access and allows members of the public to look at local records and even carry out their own analyses. There are geographic and taxonomic gaps43 in species records as many terrestrial records are collected by volunteer recorders in their preferred localities; remote and offshore areas are often under-recorded. The system relies on volunteer recorders and skilled verifiers, and trainers. There is also a need for better recording of records of Invasive Non-Native Species. Although there is a coordinated plan of survey activity through the Scottish Marine Protected Areas Monitoring Strategy, there is not a coordinated approach to improving coverage in the terrestrial environment. More work is required to enable organisations to mobilise their data; for example, INSPIRE compliance and mobilisation for marine data has been applied in the UK through MEDIN,44 with data being collated by accredited Data Archive Centres. However further work is required to ensure better flow of data from all marine sectors. Work by NBN to mobilise more data from consultants45 is ongoing, for example species records collected during surveys for developers, are recognised by the John Sawyer NBN Open Data Award.46 Improved taxonomic spread of the GB-IUCN Red Lists would enable us to assess the value and loss of our species. SBIF also provides a mechanism to help mobilise species data.

Collecting data

There are many programmes to generate biodiversity information, including citizen science projects;12,47 statutory monitoring programmes and projects, e.g. Site Condition Monitoring;48 and the Marine Protected Areas Monitoring Strategy;49 fisheries management; as well as national partnership projects such as the Habitat Map of Scotland.50 The increase in citizen science, combined with the development of novel technologies (including eDNA, smartphone apps, earth observation satellite imagery51, and camera traps), better data management, and analyses52 have all contributed to improved biodiversity knowledge access and exchange.53 To build on these foundations, we need the engagement and support of volunteers and communities. This means we need to continue to improve communication and coordination between different commissioners and users of information.  SBIF is a key part of this process. Adequate funding for organisations involved in the collection, collation, management and analyses of biological records, is key to ensuring we continue to produce high quality biodiversity information.

Higher education

Scotland has more world-class universities than any other country by head of population.54 Five Scottish universities, all of which offer degrees in biological sciences (Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Aberdeen and Dundee), are ranked in the world’s top 200 according to the 2019 Times Higher Education rankings.55 This means five of Scotland's institutions are amongst the top one per cent of world's universities. The latest available data suggests that international students account for 22% of students at Scottish higher education institutions.56

 Priority Projects Relevance Status

PP1 – Restoration of peatlands

Ambitious peatland restoration programme underway, contributing to the EU 15% degraded ecosystem restoration target.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP9 – Conservation of priority species

Deliver focussed action for priority species in Scotland.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

PP11 – Sustainable land management

Promotion of measures to support biodiversity under CAP: sites demonstrating good practice aimed at supporting wildlife.

 

On track to achieve target (if we continue on our current trajectory we expect to achieve the target by 2020)

 

A19 References end notes

1   https://www.cbd.int/gbo/gbo4/publication/gbo4-en.pdf
2   https://nbnatlas.org
3   http://marinescotland.atkinsgeospatial.com/nmpi//
 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/science/data
  https://www.environment.gov.scot/
6   https://nbn.org.uk/news/future-nbn-gateway-nbn-atlas-opening-access-data/
7   https://map.environment.gov.scot/sewebmap/?layers=eunisLandCoverScotland,natWood Survey,habmosNVCToAnnexIAndEUNIS,HabVegSurvey1,saltmarshSurvey1,habmos- OtherLanduse,coastalVegShingle1&extent=- 245528,573191,665472,1169192tland,natWoodSurvey,habmosNVCToAnnexIAndEUNIS,HabVe gSurvey1,saltmarshSurvey1,habmos-OtherLanduse,coastalVegShingle1&extent=- 245528,573191,665472,1169192
  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2009/440/contents/made
 https://www.wcl.org.uk/why-your-organisation-should-become-an-evidence-champion.asp
10  https://www.conservationevidence.com/
11  https://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/5357
12  http://www.brc.ac.uk/recording-schemes
13  https://www.brisc.org.uk/recording
14  For example - http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/
15  http://www.brc.ac.uk/theme/citizen-science
16  https://nbn.org.uk/about-us/where-we-are/in-scotland/
17  https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2018-03/SAC%20meeting%20-%2022%20March%202018%20%20An%20Overview%20of%20Scotlands%20Biodiversity%20Information%20Forum%20Review.pdf
18  https://www.nature.scot/plants-animals-and-fungi/invertebrates/freshwater- invertebrates/freshwater-pearl-mussel
19  http://www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/downloads/SBIF%2016pp%20A4%20LR%20-%20WEB%20VERSION.pdf
20  http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/indicator
21  https://www.nature.scot/publications-research/indicators-trends
22  http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/indicator
23  http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/science/atlas
24  https://www.nature.scot/publications-research/indicators-trends
25  http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=4229
26  http://www.brc.ac.uk/sites/www.brc.ac.uk/files/articles/brc-50th-anniversary.pdf
27  https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/
28  https://www.nature.scot/state-nature-scotland-report-2019
29  https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/planning-and-development/valuing-our-environment/natural-capital-asset-index
30  http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Research/About/EBAR/StrategicResearch/strategicresearch2016-21/srp2016-21/naturalassets/WorkPackage13BiodiversityandEcosystems
31  https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/
32  https://www.nature.scot/pollinator-strategy-2017-2027
33  Oliver, T.H., Isaac N.J.B., August, T.A., Woodcock, B.A., Roy, D.B., & Bullock, J.M. 2015. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss. Nature Communications. 6:10122. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10122. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10122
34  https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/habitats-and-species/habitat-map-of-scotland/
35  https://www.nature.scot/snh-commissioned-report-766-manual-terrestrial-eunis-habitats-scotland
36  https://www.farmingforabetterclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Valuing_Your_Soils_PG.pdf
37  http://soils.environment.gov.scot/maps/risk-maps/
38  http://soils.environment.gov.scot/resources/forests-and-woodlands/
39  http://soils.environment.gov.scot/resources/peatland-restoration/
40  http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/nmpihome
41  https://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/science/atlas
42  http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6073
43  Biodiversity Solutions, 2010. Involving People in Biological Recording. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No.382.
44  http://www.oceannet.org/
45  http://nbn.org.uk/News/Latest-news/Consultants-Portal-Project-update.aspx
46  https://nbn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/John-Sawyer-NBN-Open-Data-Award-winner.pdf
47  https://www.environment.gov.scot/get-involved/
48  https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and-species/protected-areas/site-condition-monitoring
49  http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/MPAmonitoring
50  https://www.nature.scot/landscapes-and-habitats/habitat-map-scotland
51  https://www.iapetus2.ac.uk/studentships/assisting-peatland-restoration-using-satellite-radar-data/
52  Isaac, N.J.B., van Strien, A.J., August, T.A., de Zeeuw, M.P. & Roy, D.B. 2014. Statistics for citizen science: extracting signals of change from noisy ecological data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 1052–1060. https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/2041- 210X.12254
53  August, T., Harvey, M., Lightfoot, P., Kilbey, D., Papadopoulos, T. & Jepson, P. 2015. Emerging technologies for biological recording. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 115, 731–749.
54  https://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/scotlands-universities/
55  https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2019/world- ranking#!/page/1/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats
56  https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/1178/3

 

AICHI TARGET 20 – FINANCIAL RESOURCES FROM ALL SOURCES INCREASED

By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 from all sources, and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resource needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.

Progress towards target but insufficient (unless we increase our efforts the target will not be met by its deadline)

The UK indicator shows a decline in funding for biodiversity since 2010/11. Overall government funding for biodiversity in Scotland has increased over the same period, mainly through specific targeted projects, such as the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention Programme and the Peatland Action Programme. Whilst core funding of organisations with a specific biodiversity remit has declined since 2010/11, targeted projects have led to an increase in total financial resources allocated to biodiversity in Scotland over the last two years. Agri-environmental funding is a further major source of resources to maintain and enhance the natural heritage.

The UK indicator1 (Figure 20.1) shows £445M of UK public sector funding being spent on UK biodiversity in 2017/18, a decrease of 30% in real terms since 2010/11. Public sector spending as a percentage of GDP has fluctuated in a similar manner to actual expenditure, with a gradual decline since its highest value in 2008/09 to its most recently assessed level of 0.022%. Spending on biodiversity in the UK by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a focus on biodiversity and/or nature conservation was £234 million (net of government funding) in 2017/18; a real-term increase of 29% since 2010/11.1 Figure 20.1 includes spending provided solely for the protection and promotion of biodiversity, generally excluding operational costs. United Kingdom, environmental philanthropy, representing less than 3% of total philanthropy, has a strong international element, with nearly half of all grants (48.3%) going for work outside the United Kingdom.2 On average, grants to support environmental work from trusts and foundations averaged £1.9 million per year between 2012-15.3 There have been short and long term increases in public sector expenditure on international biodiversity. Whilst international expenditure has increased by 135% since the time series began in 2000/01 and more than doubled over the last five years (both in real terms), these changes have been artificially. 

Figure 20.1 Expenditure on biodiversity in the UK, 2000- 01 to 2017-18

Figure 20.1

Expenditure on biodiversity in the UK, 2000- 01 to 2017-18. (Source Defra, Her Majesty's Treasury)

Notes:
1. Deflated using UK Gross Domestic Product Deflator.
2. Non-governmental spend is net of government funding.
3.Small revisions to past data series as a result of improved estimation methodology can mean the indicator does not show exactly the same pattern between years.
Source: Defra, Her Majesty's Treasury.

From 2007 – 2016 EU LIFE funding was received for 3 Scotland-only projects, along with two multi-country projects in which Scotland was involved, a total of £5,399,542 across the five projects. From 2018 onwards Scotland has being successful with three projects (two Scotland only, one including some work in the wider UK, but predominantly Scottish) amounting to £4,770,306.5

Mobilisation of financial resources in Scotland

Figure 20.2 has information on Scottish Government (SG) budgets6 for four organisations that have sizeable biodiversity elements to their work, including action ‘on the ground’. However, not all of the functions of these organisations are related to biodiversity. Figure 20.2 shows that since 2011/12, overall Scottish Government funding for biodiversity increased, accounted for by the sharp rise in the last two years. While funding (including this year’s draft funding) for SNH7 (SG’s nature conservation agency) has declined by 19% (5% over the last five years), SNH has been managing a sizeable budget for Green Infrastructure, which is shown as a separate line in Figure 20.2. It is noteworthy that CBD’s The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity comments in its Mission that: ‘… To ensure this, pressures on biodiversity are reduced, ecosystems are restored, biological resources are sustainably used and benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resources are shared in a fair and equitable manner; adequate financial resources are provided, capacities are enhanced, biodiversity issues and values mainstreamed, appropriate policies are effectively implemented…’ Well-designed Green Infrastructure meets this, and delivers multiple benefits which include access to nature for urban people, creation of new habitats and connecting wildlife populations.8,9 Projects within the programme all emphasise biodiversity benefits, and focal species include water vole, amphibians and native meadow plants. Funding for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority has remained stable, though Cairngorm National Parks Authority10 has declined over the period (both in real terms, allowing for inflation). Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)11 (funding for “maintaining its National Collections and its contributions to environmental and biodiversity change, sustainable agro-forestry, and improving rural livelihoods in very poor areas of the world”), funding has increased since 2011/12 by 20% (21% over the last five years). The Scottish Government’s Environment Climate Change and Land Reform Committee noted concerns about the trend of budget cuts to SNH and the National Parks, and also that research institutions have to raise non-Government funding to “sustain their standards of excellence”.12

Figure 20.2 Scottish Government funding for organisations with a biodiversity remit

Figure 20.2

Scottish Government funding for organisations with a biodiversity remit.

Notes:
1. Not all of the functions of these organisations are related to biodiversity.
2.SNH funding is made up of core budget plus in-year adjustments for Peatland, Biodiversity Challenge fund, Marine, Wildlife, NGOs and preparing for EU exit, and excludes SRDP and Green Infrastructure.
3.* Green Infrastructure funding runs by calendar year, not financial year but has been added, so allocated to principal year e.g. 2015 to 2015/16.

The Scottish Rural Development Programme13 (SRDP) delivers Pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It is one of the main sources of biodiversity funding in Scotland. The total Agri-environment budget for 2014 to 2020 is £308 million. Under the programme the Agri-environment Climate Scheme (AECS) has provided a total of £148 million since 2015 to fund a range of agri-environment and organic activities that help to maintain and enhance the natural heritage.14 In the same period, the area at sea remained static; with the recent inclusion of the marine protected areas, this Scottish trend is due to increase. Further funding is provided towards projects that sit outside of the main organisational budgets. The Scottish Government has awarded £15 million of European Regional Development Fund money through two competitive funds: the Green Infrastructure Fund, and the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund. Both funds target urban areas in Scotland that have a deficit of good quality greenspace, and suffer from multiple-deprivation and an excess of vacant and derelict land. As funding is provided at a maximum intervention rate of 40%, the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention will deliver a total value of £37.5m of investment throughout the course of the programme.15

In 2018 a Biodiversity Challenge Fund was announced by Scottish Government.16 This will run for two years and focus up to £4 million (included within SNH’s budget in figure 20.2) towards a range of projects supporting Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy. Other important government funded projects include £500,000 from Marine Scotland to address marine plastics on coasts in 2018-19 and £12M (£10M to SNH, £2M to Forestry and Land Scotland) funding for peatland restoration in 2019-20(see target 15), building on the £6M allocated the previous year.

Since 2004 all public sector bodies in Scotland have a duty to further the conservation of biodiversity, and since 2012 are required to report on their compliance with this duty.17 In time, this could potentially lead to further biodiversity projects and thus to a further indicator on biodiversity funding through their reporting.

Other funding sources

There are many sources of funding for biodiversity projects including Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS),18 the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Rural Development Programme, EU’s LIFE Nature and Biodiversity, SNH Grants, the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund, City Region Deals and others19 Additional funding for biodiversity comes from businesses, NGOs, and research institutions and bodies. There are no specific Scottish Government priority projects but many of the projects contribute to this target.20

Future reporting

Reporting on biodiversity funding is challenging, and further work is needed to comprehensively capture the many streams and determine how these actually benefit biodiversity. Disaggregating spend within organisations and indeed within individual projects is complicated as some work is direct ‘action on the ground’, other work is centred on ‘connecting people and nature’ and a small component of work may not relate directly to biodiversity (though in SNH all work is directly or indirectly focused on biodiversity as defined by the CBD). The previous report (2017) included Marine Scotland and Forestry Commission, though these bodies’ main focus is sustainable use, and SEPA, whose focus is on regulation and environmental protection, rather than biodiversity per se, and they have therefore not been included in this report.

A20 References end notes

1    https://hub.jncc.gov.uk/assets/42bca044-0e1b-449b-8e8f-e357e65e3822
2     https://www.cbd.int/financial/0014.shtml
    https://www.greenfunders.org/where-the-green-grants-went-scotland/
4     http://data.jncc.gov.uk/data/42bca044-0e1b-449b-8e8f-e357e65e3822/UKBI2019-F-E2.pdf
    http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4956942302969856
    http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00491140.pdf
7     http://www.nature.scot/
8     Wade, R. and McLean, N., 2014. Multiple Benefits of Green Infrastructure. Water Resources in the Built Environment, pp.319-335.
9     O’Brien, C.D., 2015. Sustainable drainage system (SuDS) ponds in Inverness, UK and the favourable conservation status of amphibians. Urban ecosystems, 18(1), pp.321-331. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11252-014-0397-5
10    https://www.gov.scot/policies/landscape-and-outdoor-access/national-parks/
11    http://www.rbge.org.uk/
12    http://www.parliament.scot/Reports/20180124_Report_2018-19_Draft_Budget.pdf
13    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/SRDP/RuralPriorities/RuralPrioritiesStats
14    https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00535715.pdf
15    https://www.greeninfrastructurescotland.scot/about-us
16    https://presscentre.nature.scot/news/scottish-natural-heritage-responds-to-2018-programme-for-government
17    https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity/biodiversity-duty
18    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Research/About/EBAR
19    https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/funding
20    http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480291.pdf

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