“We’re lucky to live somewhere with an abundance of beautiful natural spaces, spending time there is important for our physical and emotional well-being. I will be happy to work with local and national groups to enhance and protect wildlife and natural spaces for our benefit and that of future generations.”
Protecting, preserving and promoting Scotland’s world-renowned natural environment as a key priority of the SNP. The Scottish Government is working towards a Greener Scotland by improving the natural and built environment and protecting it for present and future generations. Action is being taken to reduce the local and global environmental impact through tackling climate change, protecting and conserving our natural environment, moving towards a zero-waste Scotland, and increasing the use of renewable energy.
The SNP Government is taking a range of actions to protect our natural environment and wildlife.
In June 2015, the Scottish Government launched Scotland’s Biodiversity – A Route Map to 2020, which sets out the priority work needed to meet the international Aichi Targets for biodiversity and improve the state of nature in Scotland. It sets out the six ‘Big Steps for Nature’ that the SNP Government will take. These include Ecosystem restoration, Investment in natural capital, Quality greenspace for health and education benefits, Conserving wildlife in Scotland, Sustainable management of land and freshwater, and Sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems.
The SNP Government has also launched the Environmental Cooperation Action Fund, which provides £10 million to encourage and support environmental projects involving cooperating groups of farmers, foresters and other land managers. The fund will support habitat and degraded ecosystem restoration, conservation of vulnerable priority species, control of invasive non-native plant species, deer management, catchment management for water quality, physical restoration of water bodies, natural flood management, and woodland creation.
The fight against wildlife crime also remains a high priority for the SNP, and a range of measures to combat wildlife crime have been introduced including greater use of alternative penalties and impact statements.
We have taken robust action to protect Scotland’s fisheries and natural marine habitat, through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas. Marine Protected Areas will not only help to further the conservation objectives of these protected areas, but will help more broadly to improve the health of Scotland’s seas and fisheries.
We have taken a range of actions to ensure that the development of new technologies do not have a detrimental impact on our environment and wildlife. That is why last year the Scottish Government introduced moratoriums on unconventional oil and gas extraction, allowing for a full analysis of any potential impacts and extensive consultation. The SNP Government has also consistently supported the development of clean, green renewable energy, and has set ambitious targets for its expansion. We are currently on track to producing 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020.
The protection and preservation of our natural environment and wildlife remains a key priority for the SNP, and we will continue to ensure that it is improved wherever possible.