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Last modified: 20 September 2012
Image: The RSPB
Responding to the Scottish Government’s draft budget presented to Parliament, Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said:
“This budget is an opportunity to make good on the Scottish Government’s promises of a greener Scotland – and give real credibility to the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013.
“We welcome Mr Swinney’s announcement of new funds for peatland restoration as part of the Government’s plans to fight climate change. However, no figure is yet specified and both the need to take action and the potential for success, in Scotland, is high. We look forward to working with the Government to discuss how this might be best deployed to reduce carbon emissions, while also enhancing biodiversity and water quality (2).
“We are also pleased that no further cuts have been made to the budgets for Scotland’s agri-environment scheme or to that of SNH (1). Agri-environment schemes support farmer and crofters choosing to manage land in an environmentally friendly manner and are crucial to protect Scotland’s wildlife. Only with the co-ordinated application of agri-environment measures and other SNH funds will we be able to grasp the challenges of managing and protecting our special wildlife sites (SSSIs) and meet the Government’s 2020 targets for biodiversity (3).
“Investing in nature provides real returns in green jobs, in underpinning the industries that rely on our healthy environment, such as farming, crofting, fishing and Scotch Whisky, and especially to tourism by reinforcing Scotland’s image at home and abroad as a country with outstanding wildlife.
“We hope the final budget will include measures that protect and enhance our amazing natural environment, and hope that Parliament will play its part in ensuring it does.”
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