Ministers should do more to make public bodies aware of legal duties on biodiversity, MSPs recommend

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 18 July 2018 in News

MSPs urged ministers to write to public bodies at the start of the reporting cycle, and at regular intervals, to remind them of their duties

Image credit: PA

The Scottish Government should do more to make public bodies aware of their legal duties to report on biodiversity, the Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee has recommended.

Public bodies have a legal duty to further the conservation of biodiversity and report on actions they have taken.

But with an inquiry from the Scottish Government revealing that over half of public bodies failed to report on their biodiversity efforts, MSPs urged ministers to write to public bodies at the start of the reporting cycle, and at regular intervals, to remind them of their duties.

The committee also recommended that the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage review evidence from public bodies received by the committee, which proposed additional guidance and support to assist them in complying with the biodiversity and reporting duties.

Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee Convener Jenny Marra said: “Our committee has a duty to check if laws are working well for the people of Scotland.

“Our report today outlines a number of ways public bodies could be supported to improve compliance with their legal biodiversity and reporting duties. Even a small action can help conserve and enhance Scotland’s biodiversity and work towards important international targets in the future.”

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