2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity

A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland.


Adaptive management: management based on regular monitoring, then modifying management to meet agreed objectives.

Biodiversity: the totality of life on earth: the variety of species, including the variation within species, the living systems they form, and the natural processes with which they interact.

Biosecurity: preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of spreading invasive non-native species, pests and diseases.

Biosphere Reserve: a large area of natural habitat, protected under domestic legislation, to meet the criteria of the UNESCO 'Man and Biosphere' Programme.

Catchment scale: an entire river catchment.

CBD: the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Climate change: long-term changes to climate, caused to a significant degree by human activities that release gases into the upper atmosphere where they trap excess heat near the planet's surface.

Ecological network: a system linking ecosystems across geographic areas, taking into account the dispersal ability of the component species of those ecosystems.

Ecologically coherent: operating at such a scale, and with sufficient connectivity, to ensure that dispersed ecosystems can continue to function effectively.

Ecosystem: a dynamic interlinked complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities, and their associated non-living environment, interacting as an ecological unit.

Ecosystem approach: an approach that encourages the integrated management of land, water and living resources and promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.

Ecosystem function: the natural workings of an ecosystem, which allow it to be self-sustain.

Ecosystem health: is the status of an ecosystem including the condition of its natural assets (biodiversity, geomorphology), its functional quality and its capacity to sustain both assets and function in the future (i.e. sustainability).

FCS: Forestry Commission Scotland.

Geoparc: a geographic area that is promoted, and has at least a measure of informal protection, because of its geological interest and importance.

Green network: a network of green spaces contributing to the concept of an ecological network.

GSPC: Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, an updated strategy for 2011-2020 with 16 targets.

IUCN: the World Conservation Union, an international non-governmental organisation that promotes scientific action for the conservation of wild living resources.

Landscape scale: a wide-scale, holistic approach, operating across broad areas of countryside integrating biodiversity conservation with local economic and social issues.

Low-carbon economy: an economy that does not rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels.

Natural Capital: a value assigned to the state of natural assets.

Natura site: a site protected under domestic legislation to protect an area of particular value which meets the criteria of the EC Birds Directive and/or the EC Habitats and Species Directive.

NEA: UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011).

NICE: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Peatland: a wetland ecosystem, such as a bog, fen or mire, covered by a peaty soil formed from the partly decayed remains of plants.

The Ramsar Convention: the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance which is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

River basin management planning: a planning mechanism introduced to protect and improve the water environment by setting improvement objectives for each water body.

River catchment: the entire land area from which water drains into one river system.

Social prescribing: a mechanism for linking patients with non-medical sources of support within the community.

SAC: Special Areas of Conservation - are important high-quality conservation sites. They are designated under the EC Habitats Directive forming a network that significantly contributes towards the conservation of specific habitats and species.

SEPA: Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

SNH: Scottish Natural Heritage.

SSSI: Site of Special Scientific Interest - is a site designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as being of special interest for its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features.

Sustainable: capable of continuing into the future without damage to the environment or depletion of natural capital.

Water Framework Directive: an EC directive designed to improve the management of surface waters.

TEEB: 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' (2008 report to the CBD).


Back to top