A route map towards unlocking £1 billion of new investment for nature conservation in Scotland has been published by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). This work comes at a critical time as society plans a green recovery from the social and economic upheaval caused by Covid-19, and continues to respond to the urgent climate and ecological emergencies.
The route map, which was developed in collaboration with a broad coalition of stakeholders and experts over a period of two years, highlights nine tangible opportunities for investment that would contribute to a green recovery and result in significant benefits for nature, people’s health and wellbeing, and the nation’s economy. Crucially, the route map also includes models which aim to stimulate investment in Scotland’s natural capital by delivering a financial return to investors.
Attracting new investment into nature through innovative approaches to tried and tested mechanisms would also help Scotland to meet its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and help bridge a gap between the resources needed to tackle urgent challenges facing nature and the funding available from traditional sources (1).
Jo Pike, Chief Executive, Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “We have seen during the pandemic that when human beings put their minds to it, it is possible to mobilise action on an unprecedented scale. The urgent challenges facing nature now require a step change in our response and we need to learn from recent experience. Many people have been reminded of the importance of the natural world during lockdown, and there is growing support for ensuring that the recovery from this crisis helps build a better future instead of returning us to business as usual.
“It is increasingly clear that solving the nature crisis will only be possible if we can develop new and innovative funding mechanisms that help us take solutions to scale. Our route map aims to identify ways to generate greater investment in nature conservation, whilst also creating green jobs, more resilient communities and helping to fight climate change. We hope it will stimulate further discussion about how these new models can be at the heart of a green recovery.”
The route map is the culmination of the Scottish Conversation Finance Project’s £1 Billion Challenge. It has been developed with the support of a wide range of private, public and third sector organisations (“Scottish Conservation Finance Pioneers”), including Conservation Capital, Scottish Natural Heritage, Central Scotland Green Network Trust and many more.