1. Ministerial Foreword
This report to Parliament outlines the progress made throughout 2020 in implementing the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.
An unprecedented year, 2020 brought enormous challenges to daily life in Scotland and throughout the world and my thoughts remain with all those grieving the loss of a loved one to Covid-19.
As the disruption of EU Exit was felt and while the pandemic impacted all of us, the effects of climate change, and our need to adapt to the climate emergency, were all too evident. Many families, communities and businesses throughout Scotland while dealing with the pandemic, were also living with the aftermath of devastating flood events.
Significant floods affected homes and businesses in areas such as Newcastleton and Cardenden and the impact of climate change was felt on our national infrastructure. I want to take a moment to pay tribute to those that tragically lost their lives in the passenger train derailment near Stonehaven in August 2020 and send my heartfelt condolences to their families.
As the effects of the climate and ecological emergencies are felt the Scottish Government recognises the need to adapt to and mitigate climate change and we understand the role that flood risk management has to play in this. Our 2020-21 Programme for Government committed an additional £150 million over a five year period from 2021-22 to flood risk management actions, building on our 2016 commitment to provide £420 million over 10 years for this purpose.
We continue to support the crucial work undertaken by the Scottish Flood Forum which provides on the ground, practical support to communities affected by flooding.
Those within the flood risk management community were, in 2020, forced to communicate and co-ordinate their work in a very different way but partnership projects such as Dynamic Coast have continued to make great progress.
Key partners such as SEPA and local authorities have progressed actions outlined in the Flood Risk Management Strategies and Plans to completion, from the creation of flood warning schemes that increase community flood preparedness in areas such as Aberfoyle to the completion of the flood protection works in Port Glasgow. I want to pass my thanks to all our partners contributing to such important actions.
Continued development and delivery of key science, policies and actions in such a difficult year has exemplified the resilience of the industry and the professionals that operate within it. It is clear that monumental challenges will come alongside the climate crisis, and flood risk management actions will be key in adapting to this change, and to securing a just and fair transition to becoming a net-zero nation by 2045.
Mairi McAllan - Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform