Director of RSPB Scotland welcomes publication of the programme for Government
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland, welcomed the publication of the programme for Government (PFG), and the inclusion of several key actions that will support better wildlife conservation measures.
“We are delighted that the Government has announced a Biodiversity Challenge Fund of up to £2 million”, she said. “This will support the delivery of key projects that will allow Scotland to move closer to making good on its 2020 commitments under the UN Convention on the Conservation of Biological Diversity.”
“However, the funding for this needs to be sufficient and ongoing to guarantee achievements that we can be proud of in Beijing, where the 2020 conference for this critical international treaty will take place.”
“One of Scotland’s most threatened natural heritage treasures is its internationally important seabird populations that have unfortunately declined massively in recent years. We are delighted that the PFG includes a commitment to a new seabird conservation strategy and look forward to contributing ideas and working with partners to design and deliver it. Again, this needs to be supported by appropriate resources if it is to achieve meaningful outcomes”.
“On land, the key wildlife challenge is to sustainably reform farming systems and food production to ensure that they work in harmony with and deliver for the environment, as well as contributing to improvement of our nation’s health and addressing food poverty. The commitment to publish a Good Food Nation programme and consideration of what legislative measures might be required to underpin this is positive, but is not the full commitment to a legislative Bill previously promised in the manifesto”.
“RSPB Scotland believes that a Bill is critical to meet the full breadth of challenges in relation to food and farming, as acknowledged by Fergus Ewing himself in Holyrood Magazine when he said the Scottish Government would work 'in consultation with all stakeholders from various sectors to take forward our vision for health, environmental sustainability, social justice, and prosperity, and ensure that Scotland continues to grow as a Good Food Nation.’ This can only be delivered through an Act.”