News

Rainforest action

Published: 02 Nov 2021 11:30

Scotland’s commitment to protect unique habitat.

Scotland’s rainforest will be restored and expanded as a natural solution to the climate emergency, Environment Minister Mairi McAllan has said.

The west of Scotland is home to one of the most important remaining rainforest sites in Europe, with its rich diversity of species making it internationally important. Supporting the restoration and expansion of this site will be a key part of a £500 million investment in Scotland’s natural economy.

The Scottish Government is engaging with the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforests, comprising a diverse group of organisations and public sector bodies, to determine how best to fulfil these commitments.

Ms McAllan said:

“Scotland is home to its own Atlantic rainforest boasting a variety of rare species and habitats. We want to protect and expand this precious environment and we have committed to do so in the life of this Parliament.

“I welcome the Glasgow Declaration’s strategic vision which recognises that forests and woodlands have a crucial role in reversing the effects of climate change and nature loss. As an active global citizen, Scotland is playing its role with world-leading ambitions in reaching Net Zero by 2045, five years before the rest of the UK.

“Our forests and woodlands are an important net carbon sink, absorbing around 6.2 million tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to almost 10% of Scotland’s gross greenhouse gas emissions. As world leaders commit to end deforestation by 2030, we are planting 80% of the UK’s trees and making bold commitments like this to protect and enhance Scotland’s own temperate rainforest.

“Our ambitions do not stop there. We have increased our new woodland creation targets from 12,000 hectares a year to 18,000 hectares by 2024/5. By then, we will be planting 36 million new trees every year in Scotland.”

Background

Ms McAllan is speaking at the RSPB’s Glasgow to Globe living exhibition at Glasgow Botanic Gardens this afternoon to welcome the Glasgow Declaration and highlight Scotland's efforts to protect and restore Scotland's woodlands.

The Scottish Government is committed to investing £500 million in Scotland’s natural economy. Actions include expanding the nature restoration fund, supporting the creation of a new national park and local nature networks, protecting and restoring Scotland’s Atlantic rainforest and ancient woodlands, and investing more in the restoration of peatland and expansion of woodlands

Forests and woodlands are part of the global solution. The Scottish Government would urge all nations to make best use of these precious natural resources to keep the 1.5 C temperature target in sight.