12 February, 2021
More action needed to help nature
Scotland is making progress towards meeting current international biodiversity targets but much more action is needed, a report published today shows.
NatureScot has published the 2019 report on progress towards the global Aichi targets. The 20 benchmarks were set in 2010 by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, to be met by 2020. The final 2020 report will be published later this year.
By the end of 2019:
- Scotland was on track to meet nine of the targets, including on reducing pollution, restoring ecosystems and increasing biodiversity awareness.
- Progress had been made on a further 11, but with more work needed. Areas where further action is required includes reversing habitat loss, tackling invasive species, reducing climate change pressures and safeguarding species.
NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “It’s encouraging to see that progress has been made towards meeting the international targets on biodiversity which help define priorities for biodiversity action in Scotland. However it is clear that further work is needed to continue tackling the nature crisis.
“Scottish Ministers have announced plans to protect at least 30 per cent of Scotland’s land for nature by 2030. Scotland is increasing its investment in nature to tackle the climate emergency, including restoring peatland, woodland creation and investing in Scotland’s natural economy in support of a green recovery.”
The Statement of Intent on Biodiversity set out the Scottish Government’s priorities for tackling biodiversity loss as part of a twin-crises approach to ending our contribution to climate change and ecological decline.
Ms Osowska said: “There is a huge amount of work still to be done to tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. This year, new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at COP15. Along with the COP26 on climate change, this gives Scotland a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.”
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Notes to editors
- Report available here: https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity-progress-2020-aichi-targets-report-2019
- According to the Convention on Biological Diversity ‘Global Biodiversity Outlook 5’ Report, published in September 2020, at the global level, none of the 20 targets have been fully achieved, though six targets have been partially achieved. Across the UK as a whole only five targets were on track to be met.
- UK 2019 Aichi Report: https://www.cbd.int/doc/nr/nr-06/gb-nr-06-p3-en.pdf
- Scottish Biodiversity Strategy post-2020 Statement of Intent: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-biodiversity-strategy-post-2020-statement-intent/
- Further information on the global Aichi targets given here on the CBD website: https://www.cbd.int/aichi-targets/
- Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 Report: https://www.cbd.int/gbo5
- Other significant work underway in Scotland to address these issues and accelerate progress, includes:
- Funding of over £4 million now allocated through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund for projects that take targeted action for priority habitats and species.
- Taking forward the ambitious Species on the Edge project to catalyse conservation action along Scotland’s coasts and islands. Led by NatureScot the multi-partner project includes Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, The Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife Scotland and RSPB Scotland.
- Substantial investment in peatland restoration through Peatland ACTION, backed by more than £250 million from the Scottish Government.
- Protecting 37 percent of our seas through Marine Protected Areas.
- Targeted action to control non-native invasive species through the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative.
- Working closely with land managers and farmers to develop eco-farming methods
- Investing in Green Infrastructure, bringing nature close to where people work and live, and providing nature-based solutions to climate change, flood alleviation, water quality and equitable access to good quality green space.
- Creating a genetic diversity indicator for wild species that can be used by any country in the world to help ensure we maintain genetic diversity for the future.
NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot
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