Scotland is a fantastic place for nature, and plants are a huge part of what’s special about it. From the arctic-alpine wildflowers of our highest summits, to the vibrant, flower-studded machair of the Hebrides, or the Atlantic rainforests of the west coast dripping with lichens, the diversity of our plant life underpins every ecosystem.
But with 1 in 11 species in Scotland at risk from extinction, nature needs all the protection it can get.
Until now, a large part of that protection has come from EU legislation, which accounts for 80% of environmental protections in Scotland. Brexit threatens these protections, and we need to act now to ensure that our habitats and species aren’t lost once we leave the EU.
That’s why Plantlife Scotland was involved in the launch of a new campaign, organised by Scottish Environment LINK. The Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign sends a clear message that Scotland needs politicians to act now, before it’s too late, to put in place principles to continue the protections we have and to ensure that these are embedded in domestic legislation.
The campaign was launched in November outside the Scottish Parliament, and is supported by 35 environmental charities under the Scottish Environment LINK partnership.
Through the campaign, we will be fighting to ensure that the EU principles of environmental protection are enshrined in new legislation. We will be calling for an independent watchdog to hold governments to account, which is crucial if the new legislation is to have teeth and be implemented. And we will be calling for clear, ambitious environmental targets, and the resources to deliver real environmental protection across the country.
If you have ever taken a walk through Scotland’s spectacular landscapes and enjoyed seeing the wildlife that lives here, chances are you have benefited from the legislation that has protected these habitats and species. Strong environmental legislation will go a long way towards ensuring the survival of our priceless natural heritage, and it’s time for our politicians to act.