22 June 2020
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) welcomed the prominence of nature in the action plan submitted today to the Scottish Government by Benny Higgins on behalf of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.
Francesca Osowska, SNH’s Chief Executive, said:
“Today’s report makes the case that nature can be a cornerstone of a broad-based Scottish recovery from COVID-19. We agree with the report that out of this awful crisis, there is an opportunity for change, one that would allow us to achieve the paradigm shift to a job-creating, fair, net zero carbon economy that the climate emergency and biodiversity decline demands.
“Scotland’s Natural Capital is worth at least £196bn, supporting 240,000 jobs. Much of this value is generated by our nature and rural landscapes. Growth sectors such as tourism, renewable energy and food and drink are heavily dependent on a high-quality natural environment.
“That’s why at SNH, we are working hard to support the recovery – ensuring that nature can help us be more resilient socially, economically and environmentally. Nature can help improve our health, lower atmospheric carbon, reduce the risks of flooding and drought, improve air quality, and buffer us against pests, diseases and pathogens.”
Nature-based solutions which will both aid the economy and fight climate change include restoring peatlands, increasing our native woodlands, creating natural flood risk management and natural coastal defences, and improving green infrastructure and active travel networks. Green finance is also vital, with increasing private and corporate investment in nature as businesses realise a healthy natural environment is good for business.
A full version of the report is available: Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland: Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.