PROJECTS that restore Scotland’s rainforest and protect some of the country’s most threatened wildlife are among those set to benefit from crucial funding.
A new package of Scottish Government support totalling over £2.9 million will focus on conservation, research and connecting people with nature – aiming to accelerate the response to the biodiversity and climate crises.
A project to restore Scotland’s rainforest will receive over £1.3 million helping to control invasive rhododendron and manage the impacts of wild deer to promote the recovery of the fragile forest ecosystem.
‘Species on the Edge’, a five-year partnership project, will receive £500,000, helping to support 37 of Scotland’s most vulnerable species – such as the great yellow bumblebee and the Scottish primrose. A further £200,000 will go to the Green Action Trust to help expand nature networks – supporting their work with local communities across Scotland to create and restore woodlands and wetlands.
Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said:
“The interlinked crises of nature loss and climate change need urgent action across government and society. A healthy natural environment with restored and thriving biodiversity is also crucial to both our wellbeing and our economy.
“That is why we are continuing to support and build on a wide programme of enhancing nature protections. This new package of funding adds to our £65 million Nature Restoration Fund, which supports projects across Scotland – on land and at sea – that address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.
“We are at a critical moment as we approach the UN CoP15 biodiversity summit at the end of this year. We will soon publish a new Biodiversity Strategy for Scotland, which will set out what our natural environment needs to look like by 2045 in order to reverse biodiversity decline and protect our environment for the future.
“The Strategy will set out in detail how we achieve our goals and a Natural Environment Bill which will pave the way for statutory nature restoration targets.”
Alistair Whyte on behalf of Woodland Trust Scotland and Plantlife Scotland said:
“We welcome the allocation of funding to begin the crucial work of halting the loss of Scotland’s rainforest. Restoring the rainforest will need a long-term, strategic approach to funding and action on the ground. In financially challenging times, this announcement is an encouraging step towards fulfilling that larger commitment to restore and expand this precious ecosystem. We owe it to the world to restore Scotland’s rainforest.”
Director of RSPB Scotland Anne McCall said:
“Given the scale and urgency of the nature and climate crisis it is great to see this funding announcement from Scottish Government. Support for work that is focused on species and the restoration of Scotland’s rainforest highlights the importance of addressing nature loss across Scotland; there is so much more to be done, by all sectors, if we are to realise a future where nature and people can thrive.”