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.
We can change this. Nature has an amazing capacity for recovery. Together, we can help Scotland’s unique wildlife recover and thrive.
More than 60 environment charities, businesses and community groups from across Scotland are calling on the Scottish government to set legally binding targets for nature recovery, to restore natural habitats and reverse the decline in Scotland’s biodiversity on land and at sea.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon 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 words with action. Scotland’s people need a healthy, thriving natural environment. Help us fight for it.
For a thriving Scotland
Scotland’s nature is central to our health and wellbeing, and our natural environment supports communities and jobs. Our beautiful and diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes are central to our identity, from our art and literature to our love for the hills, beaches, rivers or woods nearest to where we live.
We know that the nature we rely upon is struggling. But we also know that, just like people, nature can recover.
At Forsinard Flows in Caithness, globally important peatlands are being carefully restored, leading to the return of bog plants and wildlife.
Otters were confined to the highlands and islands in the 1970s due to pesticide pollution. But thanks to legislation controlling the use of dangerous chemicals, otters are now found in most of Scotland’s lochs and rivers, including in towns and cities.
At the Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorms, regeneration of ancient pinewood forests has allowed juniper, dwarf birch and willows to recover, and rare hen harriers to return.
In 2020, just four years after the seas around the south coast of Arran were protected from scallop dredging, divers discovered a large bed of flame shells – a beautiful shellfish that had almost disappeared from the Clyde region.
Each small story of nature’s triumph shows us what is possible, if we create the right conditions. Scotland can do this.
Time for action
To reverse the decline of Scotland’s nature and to help it recover on a big scale, we need action across society. To make this happen, we need the Scottish government to set legally binding nature recovery targets – and to meet them.
Scotland’s ambitious climate targets are vital in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving us towards the goal of ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045. Now is the time to be just as ambitious for Scotland’s nature.
We’re calling on the Scottish government to set targets to:
increase wildlife populations and their spread across Scotland on land and sea
end the threat of species going extinct from Scotland
increase the extent and quality of Scotland’s habitats.
Now is the moment to stop and reverse the loss of Scotland’s nature. In October 2021, governments from around the world will meet to set new global targets for nature at 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 keep pace with EU environmental protections.
Help set Scotland’s nature on the path to recovery by supporting our campaign.