Transformative change to protect Scotland's nature

Leugh sa Ghàidhlig

20 June 2022

Scottish Government news release

Ambitious proposals to halt biodiversity loss.

In light of mounting evidence that Scotland continues to experience dramatic declines in biodiversity, the Scottish Government is proposing an ambitious new strategy to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and reverse it by 2045.

A consultation published today invites views from a wide range of organisations and individuals on the new strategy - including its long-term ambition and vision of what our natural environment needs to look like in 2045 if we are to be successful.

The overall aim of the new strategy is to deliver the transformational change needed to protect and restore terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity in Scotland. The consultation contains a series of proposed outcomes setting out what needs to be done, and the conditions that must be in place, in order to achieve success.

Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said:

“Scotland was one of the first countries to recognise the interlinked crises of climate change and nature loss. Already nearly 18% of Scotland is protected specifically for nature, and 37% of our seas now form part of the Scottish Marine Protected Area network.

“But sadly the evidence tells us that Scotland, in common with the rest of the UK and the world, has not done enough over the two past decades to prevent the continuing decline in biodiversity.

“Our existing strategy, published in 2004, now needs a fundamental overhaul to address the new uncertainties we face as a result of the global climate emergency. In addition to high level strategic leadership, we will need responsible public and private investment to achieve our outcomes and an inclusive ‘whole-of-society’ approach that engages with communities, business and decision makers alike.

“This consultation is a key part of developing our new strategic approach. Biodiversity is important for everyone and I would encourage everyone to share their views and help us shape this crucial roadmap toward a better and more sustainable future for Scotland.”

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s Chief Executive, said:

“The nature and climate crises cannot be overstated. We have reached a critical point where we must take ambitious action for nature now, and Scotland’s new biodiversity strategy gives us the best opportunity to do this.

“This national endeavour means that by 2045 we will have restored and enhanced biodiversity across our land and seas. Our plant and animal species will be richly diverse, resilient and adapting to climate change and everyone will understand the importance and value of nature.

“I strongly encourage people across Scotland; partners; communities and businesses, to get involved in the consultation and play a part in creating a nature rich, net-zero future for all.”


This consultation forms part of an engagement process with a wide range of stakeholders who have an interest in Scotland’s biodiversity, including land managers, environmental organisations, local authorities and other partners. The Scottish Government held a series of workshops to scope out the detail of the strategy, develop ideas and test concepts. The government is now gathering the views of a wider range of organisations and individuals to test and further develop these ideas.