Much work still required to reach international biodiversity targets say NatureScot

A western capercaillie in the Scottish Highlands

MUCH more action is needed in Scotland to meet current international biodiversity targets, NatureScot has said.

It comes following the public body publishing the report on progress towards the global Aichi targets. The twenty benchmarks were set in 2010 by the UN convention on biological diversity to be met by 2020. The final report is scheduled to be published later this year.

NatureScot said that by the end of 2019 Scotland was on track to meet nine of targets – including reducing pollution, restoring ecosystems and increasing biodiversity awareness. It added that progress had been made on a further 11, but with more work needed.

Areas identified as requiring work includes reversing habitat loss, tackling invasive species, reducing climate change pressures and safeguarding species.

NatureScot chief executive, Francesca Osowska, said, “It’s encouraging to see that progress has been made towards meeting the international targets on biodiversity which help define priorities for biodiversity action in Scotland. However, it is clear that further work is needed to continue tackling the nature crisis.

“Scottish ministers have announced plans to protect at least 30% of Scotland’s land for nature by 2030. Scotland is increasing its investment in nature to tackle the climate emergency, including restoring peatland and woodland creation and investing in Scotland’s natural economy in support of a green recovery.

“There is a huge amount of work still to be done to tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. This year, new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at COP15. Along with the COP26 on climate change, this gives Scotland a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.”