Programme for Government: commitments must deliver a transformation for nature - Scottish Environment LINK

Scottish Environment LINK welcomes today’s Programme for Government outlined by the First Minister (7 September). As we embark on the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, the need to tackle the global climate and nature emergency is urgent. Two major UN reports (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC and Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES) have very clearly stated the need for immediate and effective action to limit global temperature rises to 1.5oC and to restore biodiversity. With the State of Nature report showing one in nine species in danger of extinction in the country and our biodiversity intactness index 28th from the bottom globally, Scotland clearly needs to act now.

This Parliamentary session is crucial. With only nine years of the decade that IPCC and IPBES say is left for us to act, this Programme for Government in 2021 is vital and must be transformational. That means we need to see immediate, determined and demonstrable action. The commitment to protect our land and marine environments for generations to come, reversing ecological decline and delivering nature-based solutions to climate change is central to this transformation.

We warmly welcome the commitment to nature targets: targets help guide action and enable everyone to play their part in nature restoration. The proposed Biodiversity Strategy and Natural Environment Bill must provide a direction of travel, led by government, to bring immediate progress towards those targets from 2021. In addition, the commitment to designate 10% of our seas as highly protected is very welcome and alongside commitment for nature networks on land and at sea, this could be transformational.

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Posted On: 08/09/2021

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