Scottish Government to introduce environmental watchdog

A watchdog is to be created to ensure there is a compliance with environmental law in Scotland, following the release of a new Scottish Government strategy aiming to protect the country’s natural environment.

The independent public body will be introduced once the transitional period of the strategy ends, the Scottish Government said. The blueprint will look to secure the wellbeing of Scotland’s environment and biodiversity by 2045.

The Scottish Government added that the plan will tackle the global climate emergency, end the ‘throwaway’ culture, promote a sustainable economy that conserves and grows natural assets, and support a healthy environment that delivers a fairer more inclusive society.

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said, “Scotland’s natural environment is our greatest national asset and it is fundamental to our future, our health, our quality of life and our economy.

“A healthy and diverse environment is essential to the wellbeing of our economy and people. We are clear that remaining in the EU is the best way to nurture our environment and we profoundly regret that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against our will. However, as we move outside the EU frameworks, that have guided our approach for half a century, it is vital that Scotland demonstrates a coherent, integrated approach to the environment that is governed effectively.

“That is why we will embed the EU environmental principles into law so they can continue to guide new policy and legislation in future.

“This strategy will also do more though. It will be a living and evolving approach, able to adapt to new evidence as it emerges and refocus work to take advantage of new opportunities or address new challenges.”