Why we need a nature recovery plan
Nature is critical to our health and wellbeing. Throughout 2020 nature’s importance has become even more clear for many of us. The necessary response to the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and routines in ways distinctive to each of us, but nature has been a defining factor of our individual experiences.
With RSPB Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust, our Nature Recovery Plan sets out 11 high-impact actions to set Scotland on the pathway to delivering transformative change for nature, people and climate. These actions would also help to build a more healthy and resilient nation, supporting diverse, vibrant communities and economies.
1. Deliver a significant expansion in Scotland’s native woodlands annually from 2020
2. Introduce new legislation to achieve sustainable, low-impact fishing by the end of 2021
3. Implement licensing of driven grouse shooting by the end of 2021
4. Reduce deer populations and maintain them at sustainable levels through new or improved legislation by the end of 2021
5. Ensure that all new development is net positive for nature through the National Planning Framework 4 in 2022
6. Include a Scottish Nature Network in the National Planning Framework 4 in 2022, and deliver it by 2030
7. End burning on peatland and the commercial extraction and sale of peat for horticulture across Scotland by 2023
8. Introduce and apply new rules to improve the use of nitrogen by 2024
9. Establish a Scottish Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Inspectorate, to ensure zero new establishments of damaging INNS in Scotland, by 2025
10. Transform Scottish agricultural policy by 2027 so that it facilitates and rewards nature- and climate-friendly farming
11. Commit to at least 30% of Scotland’s seas being highly protected, with at least 10% fully protected, by 2030
Scotland is rightly proud of its diverse and unique wildlife, but we need to wake up to the fact that many species are increasingly under threat from climate change. The fact is that we cannot tackle the climate crisis without also addressing the emergency facing our natural world. We need urgent action and funding for nature. Now is the moment to kickstart deeper structural reforms needed to shift to a wellbeing economy which actively invests in nature.
Will you join us in calling on all political parties in Scotland to champion nature and include these actions in their party manifestos for the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections?