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Challenge For Scotland's Biodiversity

8/7/2012

Scotland's Biodiversity strategy is set for a refresh to ensure it meets with new international requirements.

Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson launched the consultation last Friday during a visit to the Linn of Dee as part of his three day visit to the Cairngorms National Park.

Following the development of new biodiversity targets at UN and EU level the Scottish Government is committed to refreshing the 2004 Scottish Biodiversity strategy to ensure it meets the new challenges up to 2020.

The 2020 Challenge aims to:

Increase the general level of biodiversity on land and in our seas and support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems
Engage people with the natural world, for the health and well-being benefits that this brings, and empower them to have a say in decisions about their environment
Maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth

Mr. Stevenson said:"This consultation will set out how we will meet our international obligations to halt biodiversity loss and protect our vital ecosystem services by 2020. The pressures on the natural environment from habitat loss, nutrient enrichment and climate change need urgent action and projects such as this are a great example of managing our land to meet these challenges."

Jonny Hughes, Director of Conservation at Scottish Wildlife Trust said:"The Scottish Wildlife Trust has been pleased with the way the Scottish Government has involved and consulted us early on in the development of the new 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity. Scotland's natural environment is a massive cultural and economic asset which has been taken for granted for too long.

"This new initiative from the Scottish Government recognises that the plethora of hidden benefits which nature provides need to be better understood, valued and managed. These hidden benefits include the food we eat, clean water, flood protection, carbon storage, educational resources, recreation, health and well being and economic vitality."

Susan Davies, SNH director of policy and advice, said:"The Scottish Government and SNH have worked closely with many organisations to try and make sure the 2020 Challenge will secure a strong and healthy future for Scotland's nature. Healthy nature is incredibly important to us all - not just for air, water and food, but for business, welfare and economic recovery. We need nature to thrive - as much for us as for nature itself."

See the consultation at
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/07/5241

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