The world faces the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. Globally, nationally and locally an enormous effort is needed to tackle these closely linked issues.
We moved from the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity to the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which began in 2021 and runs until 2030. Part one of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of the Parties 15 (COP15) took place in October 2021, with preparations being made for the second and final part to be held in 2022. In December 2020 the Scottish Government set out, in their Statement of Intent, the direction for a new Scottish biodiversity strategy which will respond to the increased urgency for action to tackle the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change.
This high level Statement of Intent:
- Signals ambitions for Scotland, in tackling the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss;
- Signals action in the international arena and desire to continue working with friends across Europe and the world;
- Sets out how we will translate those ambitions into Scotland’s post-2020 biodiversity strategy and delivery plan;
- Confirms continuity, and enhancement where possible, of delivery under our existing biodiversity strategy until it is replaced; and
- Signals some priorities, including announcing that:
- We will endorse the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, which was launched at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
- We will publish a new, high-level, policy-focused strategy within a year of CoP15 which will take account of the new global biodiversity framework, goals and targets and also the emerging EU biodiversity strategy.
- The principles and associated projects in the 2020 Challenge and its route map will continue and be enhanced where appropriate, until they are replaced by a new Strategy and Delivery Plan.
- We will work closely with stakeholders, and devise innovative solutions and partnerships which bring new voices to the debate, in developing our new strategy.
- Our new strategy will highlight the need to facilitate the creation of new, locally driven projects – such as Cairngorms Connect – which aim to improve ecological connectivity across Scotland.
- We will extend the area protected for nature in Scotland to at least 30% of our land area by 2030, and are commissioning advice on whether we could go even further than this given that we have already achieved 37% protection of Scotland’s marine environment.
- We will develop ambitious new proposals to secure positive effects for biodiversity through development, through our work on National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).
See the full Statement of Intent on Biodiversity published by the Scottish Government.