RSPB Scotland has today cautiously welcomed the draft SNP-Greens Cooperation Agreement, as a step in the right direction as Scotland charts its course towards nature and climate restoration.
RSPB Scotland has today cautiously welcomed the environmental policies set out in the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Draft Shared Policy Programme, as a step in the right direction as Scotland charts its course towards nature and climate restoration.
Scotland’s largest nature conservation organisation particularly welcomed a commitment to a Natural Environment Bill which will set targets for nature’s restoration, increased protection for Scotland’s seas and additional funding for biodiversity but noted that much more will be needed, and effective implementation and delivery will be critical, to tackle the nature and climate emergency.
Commenting on the environmental elements of the draft Policy Programme, RSPB Scotland Director, Anne McCall said:
“With Glasgow scheduled to host the world at international climate conference COP26 in November, the draft Cooperation Agreement comes at a pivotal moment in history for Scotland and the planet.”
“We particularly welcome the commitment to new legislation to restore nature and to boost funding for nature’s recovery set out in the draft agreement, but with half of all species in Scotland in decline and 1 in 9 at risk of national extinction, it is disappointing this will not be brought forward until year 3 of this Parliament. However, protecting and restoring Scotland’s nature is an issue which transcends party politics and RSPB Scotland looks forward to being able to work with the Scottish Government, and with all opposition parties, so that together, we can work with the urgency needed to halt the loss of Scotland’s wildlife and ensure that Scotland’s nature, climate, and people thrive in the years ahead”.
Noting that Scotland’s post-pandemic economic recovery will be a key priority for the new Scottish Government, Anne McCall further commented: “Much of Scotland’s identity and economy is based on nature. As we move past the pandemic, Scotland needs a nature-based recovery. We need nature, but nature urgently needs our help first.”
“We must take an integrated approach addressing the nature and climate emergencies and securing economic recovery, because nature, climate and the economy are interlinked.”
“Restoring biodiversity both mitigates against the effects of climate change and contributes towards sustainable local and national economies that work for people and planet”.
With 78,000 members, RSPB Scotland has a presence in villages, towns, and cities across Scotland. The charity manages 72,000 hectares of land across 77 nature reserves, and supports parliamentarians with rigorous research, robust evidence, and expert advice. Across all of Scotland, RSPB gives nature a home, and connects communities to nature, benefiting mental health, physical health, and quality of life.