3 Next Steps - The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity
The years to 2020 will continue to be challenging for biodiversity, but the framework put in place through the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and the targeted and ambitious programme contained in the Route Map provide a clear path to success. Some changes to Scotland's biodiversity are inevitable, but key elements to maintaining and improving current progress will be:
- focusing on the key drivers of biodiversity loss;
- applying an ecosystem approach - doing work in a bigger more integrated way;
- mainstreaming biodiversity delivery - involving more sectors, organisations and individuals in implementation of the Strategy; and
- delivering the programme of activity in the Route Map.
Sustained effort will be needed if we are halt or reverse species losses affecting certain habitats, such as marine bird populations or iconic Scottish species such as wildcat or pearl mussel. While bringing many benefits for biodiversity, the reintroduction of the beaver will also need to be carefully managed if it is be judged a success.
Key issues and opportunities
In the First Progress Report 2015/16 on the Route Map to 2020, SNH identified a number of generic issues facing delivery which are equally relevant to the Strategy as a whole. These issues included the need:
- for effective and on-going prioritisation and resourcing of this work by SNH, SEPA, FCS, Marine Scotland and Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate;
- for greater ownership of the work by all the key stakeholders, clear and effective delivery arrangements for the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy - Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity, Route Map to 2020, Scottish Biodiversity Strategy reporting and delivery agreements; and
- to ensure more people in Scotland experience and benefit from contact with nature and the value this has for health and well-being and the nation's economy
A further significant challenge for all involved in the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy delivery is the need to secure resources in the light of sustained decreases in public spending. Finding alternative funding to replace possible loss of European funding will also be critical.
We also need to continue to assess progress on Aichi targets; changes to the drivers of biodiversity change and their significance; and changes to natural heritage trends identified through monitoring activity. This should include views of stakeholders, including reports such as the recent State of Nature Report 2016 for Scotland.