Yesterday [31 August], the Scottish government published the ‘Edinburgh Declaration’. This declaration seeks agreement between subnational, regional and local governments across the world, calling on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to elevate ambition in order to halt biodiversity loss. It urges that greater prominence be given to the role subnational authorities play in delivering on the new global targets set to be agreed next year.
The text of the declaration calls for collective commitment to raise ambition for nature’s recovery; frames the global pandemic as a reminder of nature’s central importance to human wellbeing; recognises our collective failure to halt biodiversity loss, and the urgent need for transformative action across land and sea to do so; and it recognises the role that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Scottish Environment LINK and its member bodies will play in making the changes needed.
The UK government is a national signatory to the CBD, however Scotland supports globally important wildlife species, habitats and ecosystems, across land, freshwater and marine environments, and virtually all policy relating to nature is devolved to the Scottish government.
Scottish Environment LINK’s Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign, launched in 2018, calls on the Scottish government to set legally binding targets for the recovery of nature. Scotland’s iconic wildlife is under threat, with one in nine species at risk of extinction from Scotland.
Craig Macadam, convenor of the LINK Wildlife Group said:
Scottish Environment LINK welcomes the Edinburgh Declaration and we support its central message on the role of sub-national authorities in restoring nature, against the backdrop of collective failure to date. We urge the Scottish government to cooperate constructively beyond and within its borders, and to realise the declaration’s recognition of NGO roles, developing progressive strategic engagement as the next Scottish Biodiversity Strategy develops.