Scotland needs nature recovery targets

Scotland needs nature recovery targets

Scotland’s people need Scotland’s nature. But the nature we love is in crisis. Almost half of Scotland’s species have declined in the last 50 years, and one in nine is at risk of extinction. The First Minister said in 2019, “The challenges facing biodiversity are as important as the challenge of climate change, and I want Scotland to be leading the way in our response.” Now is the time to match these words with action. Scotland’s people need a healthy, thriving natural environment which supports communities and jobs. In the next year, governments from around the world will meet to set new global targets for nature at the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity conference in China (COP15). And in November the eyes of the world will be on Scotland as we host COP26, the most important UN climate summit since the Paris agreement. We need to show what we can do for nature. The European Union has already said it will propose legally binding nature recovery targets in 2021 – and the Scottish Government has committed to keeping pace with EU environmental protections. Scotland must urgently develop its own nature recovery targets. Over the next parliamentary term, the committees should consider what steps are needed to halt the declines of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats by 2030 and put nature on a path to recovery. Scotland’s climate change targets have been critical for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mobilising action across different parts of the economy and society – now the need for nature recovery targets must be considered to keep us in line with Europe and international developments.


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