“Scotland’s rich biodiversity, with our unique range of habitats from temperate rainforest to high mountain tops, sustains a large part of our rural economies and underpins our sense of place. While we have made significant progress over the last 3 years in conserving some of that biodiversity, we still have a long way to go to meet our target to halt the loss of biodiversity in Scotland by 2010. The debate on Thursday, following the report to parliament published in December, provides us all with the opportunity to assess progress to date and plan action to meet future targets. As Scotland necessarily takes on more work to meet this target, less is likely to be achieved as the government’s funding commitment to support this work declines. We are looking forward to an informed debate on Thursday on how to maintain our rate of progress towards the 2010 target.