Fight for Scotland’s Nature
38 environmental charities from across Scotland have come together to ‘Fight for Scotland’s Nature’ and gather support for a Scottish Environment Act.
Scotland’s beautiful and diverse natural environment is under threat: one in nine species is at risk of extinction.
With nature and the climate in crisis – and a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic essential – Scotland must not lose the crucial environmental safeguards that come from EU membership. EU protections and funding have played an overwhelmingly positive role in protecting and enhancing our natural environment. We need to build on these protections beyond Brexit and ensure high environmental standards are the foundation of a green recovery by creating strong Scottish laws to help protect and restore Scotland’s nature.
Scotland needs its own Environment Act to set us on a clear trajectory towards a more sustainable future. We’re calling for a Scottish Environment Act that embeds key European environmental principles in Scots law, creates an independent watchdog to enforce environmental protections, and sets legally binding targets for nature recovery.
This is all the more important as we approach the UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, 2021 – 2030, a critical time for global efforts to reverse biodiversity loss.
More than 22,000 people have written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to demand an Environment Act.
If you believe your local environment is being harmed due to the failure of a public body to meet environmental standards, you can raise an official complaint and request an investigation. Well, you can until the end of December 2020, that is, when the Brexit transition period ends.[Read our blog]
For a thriving environment
Scotland’s environment matters not just for its natural and cultural wealth, but also for the people and communities reliant on it. The coronavirus pandemic has starkly highlighted both the importance of nature for our wellbeing and the inequality in local access to nature.
We rely on our environment for clean air and water, fertile soil and resources. Jobs depend on it: 14% of jobs in Scotland are supported by the natural environment. As we rebuild following coronavirus, Scotland’s environment will have an even more important part to play in its economy.
But through pollution, detrimental land management practices and historic deforestation, environmental degradation is impacting local wildlife and communities.
To ensure that our environment is healthy and thriving so that it can provide for everyone’s wellbeing, we need strong legislation that will replace and build upon EU protections and ensure Scotland doesn’t fall behind European and global partners.
Help us fight for a thriving environment by supporting our campaign.
For thriving landscapes
Scotland is renowned for its stunning landscapes, from Caledonian pine forests and coastal grasslands to freshwater habitats and wetlands. But many of the ways we use these landscapes are threatening the survival of wildlife and habitats.
Our native woodlands – home to many of Scotland’s threatened species and exceptionally rich in fungi, lichen and mosses – have been severely reduced by historic deforestation and are threatened by overgrazing and invasive non-native species such as rhododendron. Only 1% of Scotland is covered in ancient native woodland.
Our farmland – which can provide important habitats for wildlife – is often managed in a way that harms nature instead of supporting it.
Our lochs and rivers – which support a rich array of flora and globally important populations of Atlantic salmon and freshwater pearl mussels – are being affected by pollution, commercial fisheries, and illegal collection.
Our uplands – which support threatened lichen and iconic wildlife such as Scottish wildcats – are threatened by atmospheric pollution, overgrazing, burning, drainage, and the impacts of climate change.
Help us fight for thriving landscapes by supporting our campaign.
For thriving seas
Scottish waters make up 61% of the UK total and are home to internationally important populations of dolphins, whales, basking sharks, grey seals and seabirds. They are a global hotspot for diverse seabed habitats such as coldwater coral reefs and inshore flameshell beds.
Climate change is impacting marine ecosystems, with even small changes in sea temperatures having drastic effects on food webs and seabird populations.
The marine environment also faces major challenges from fishing, pollution and invasive non-native species.
Help us fight for thriving seas by supporting our campaign.