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22 May, 2019

Nature Conference

Nature Conference: Green-veined White (Peiris napi) butterfly resting on a cuckoo flower, Kinloch Woods, Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve. Copyright Laurie Campbell-SNH

Over 35 organisations are set to meet today (May 22nd) to address the state of nature in Scotland and agree the next steps needed to tackle biodiversity loss.

The event will be hosted by national nature agency Scottish Natural Heritage at their Battleby conference centre.

Biodiversity is all the different types of animals, plants and other organisms in our natural world.  This life balance is increasingly under threat through a variety of pressures including climate change. Earlier this month the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services confirmed that the pressures on nature mean a million species – 10 per cent of the world’s total – may become extinct. 

The agencies, NGOs, research bodies, local authorities and communities attending the meeting all have a role to play in making sure that Scotland steps up work to meet international nature targets, due to be reported on in 2020.

Over the next year organisations are being asked to focus on reversing ecosystem loss and fragmentation to restore Scotland’s most threatened habitats - peatlands, rivers, and woodland. Work will also focus on assessing Scotland’s most at risk species, and reducing pressures from non-native species.

Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “People know that climate change is a big issue but not as many know that nature – and biodiversity loss – is also a global and generational threat to human well-being.  The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity and protecting it is vital for our survival.

“But climate change and biodiversity are inextricably linked, and helping biodiversity is one of the biggest things we can do to help stop climate change. A nature-rich future is the best insurance against our climate emergency.

“We have worked hard to deliver our biodiversity strategy and meet our international targets – Scotland is leading the way in many areas such as our work to restore peatlands. But there is a lot more we can do to.  The latest reports show that nature can be conserved and provide for people now and in the future but that we need to act.

“There are five areas we need to focus on to improve biodiversity – restoring our habitats, changing our use of the land and sea especially for agriculture, reducing pollution and climate change and tackling invasive non-native species.

“We are ready to deliver the transformational change needed to bring a nature rich future for Scotland.”


Media enquiries: Please contact Emma Keenan on 07738424095 or email

Contact information

SNH Media

Notes to editors

Scotland is currently on track to meet seven of our international targets with a further twelve showing progress, but requiring additional action if we are to meet them by 2020.

‘Biodiversity’ embraces diversity within species (genetic), between species (numbers and variants) and between ecosystems (areas, habitats and functions). 

Representatives from the following organisations will be attending: Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council, Buglife, City of Edinburgh Council, CNPA, Dundee City Council, East Lothian Council, Forestry and Land Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Heritage Fund, James Hutton Institute, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Marine Laboratory, NHS Fife, North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, Plantlife Scotland, RESAS, Scottish Government, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Scotland: The Big Picture, Scotland's Rural College, Scottish  Environment LINK, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Government, Scottish Land & Estates Ltd, Scottish Water, Scottish Wildlife Trust, SEPA, South Lanarkshire Council, Stirling Council, Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES), Woodland Trust Scotland, Young Scot.

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig no lean air Twitter sinn aig


Green-veined White (Peiris napi) butterfly resting on a cuckoo flower, Kinloch Woods, Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve. Copyright Laurie Campbell-SNH

Green-veined White (Peiris napi) butterfly resting on a cuckoo flower, Kinloch Woods, Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve. Copyright Laurie Campbell-SNH

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