Restoring Scotland’s Natural Environments, Improving Biodiversity

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Delivering for Scotland #18: Improving Biodiversity

Climate change and the biodiversity crisis are a reality that we must face now. Even in the midst of the pandemic the climate emergency remains a pressing crisis. Scotland will end its contribution to climate change by 2045. And we must do it in a way that is just and fair, and no one should be left behind.

We have been active on the world stage, leading the Edinburgh Process on biodiversity and publishing the Edinburgh Declaration calling for increased action to tackle biodiversity loss. Scotland’s natural environment is one of our greatest assets and we must do everything we can to safeguard them for future generations.

Not only are forests and peatlands vital to absorbing greenhouse gases, but they also deliver countless benefits to our economy  – helping to develop thriving rural economies based around woodland creation, peatland restoration, sustainable tourism, and more.

We have already created over 22,000 hectares of new woodland in the last two years – and we’re set to substantially increase woodland creation, thanks to the additional £130 million commitment for further and faster tree planting.

We will invest an additional £500 million in our natural economy to help tackle the biodiversity crisis.

We will publish a new biodiversity strategy within 12 months of the Biodiversity COP, and remain committed to protecting at least 30% of Scotland’s land by 2030.

We want to go further still and will review our current targets when we publish our new strategy.

Restoration of degraded peatland is a vital nature based solution to protecting Scotland’s biodiversity and ending our contribution to climate change, as well as creating opportunities for green jobs and skills.

We are committed to a ten year investment of more than £250 million to support the restoration of 250,000 hectares of Scottish peatland by 2030.

We will increase our targets for new woodland creation by 50%, from 12,000 hectares up to 18,000 hectares per year by 2025.