New biodiversity strategy will be judged on delivery
6 July 2012
Head of Media and Communications
RSPB Scotland today welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of a new consultation on its Biodiversity Strategy, with a view to meeting the ambitious EU and UN targets for 2020.
Scotland has a fantastic natural environment, but we cannot be complacent. Many sensitive species and habitats are not faring well. Even our designated special sites are deteriorating, and SNH has only 73-75% of the habitat features for which their protected areas are selected in favourable condition and the situation is not improving.
What matters, and the real test for the Scottish Government, is delivery.
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “We want a comprehensive set of Marine Protected Areas declared around Scotland to protect all marine wildlife, including birds, whales and dolphins.
“We must also have well funded agri-environment schemes that encourage and reward farmers and crofters to invest in biodiversity and conservation management.
“Unless we have a demonstrable commitment from the Scottish Government to invest real resources and passion in nature as part of what makes our nation special, then it does not come for free.”
1. SNH report that only 73-75% of the habitat or species features for which protect areas are selected are in favourable condition and the situation is not improving and the indicator in the Government’s National Performance Framework is not moving in the right direction.
2. One of the key ways to secure the sensitive management of such sites is to support the farmers and crofters responsible for most of that management through schemes such as agri-environment – for example, the “Rural Priorities” scheme in Scotland. These schemes form part of the so-called pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy. And, if we look at the money spent on supporting wildlife management through these schemes, then the UK doesn’t look so great and Scotland is the worst of all