Green campaigners push for dedicated Environment Act for Scotland
A coalition of environmental NGOs have come together to call on the Scottish Government to introduce a dedicated Environment Act for Scotland.
With concern over the environmental impact of Brexit growing, and amid rising ecological damage globally, Scottish Environment LINK has launched its ‘Fight for Scotland’s Nature’ campaign aimed at building on existing Scottish Government commitments to retain EU protections.
Around 80 per cent of Scottish environmental law stems from EU legislation, while conservation projects have benefitted from more than €25m in funding from the EU’s LIFE Nature fund.
Beyond the loss in funding, NGOs have warned that leaving the jurisdiction of the European Commission, European Court of Justice and other EU bodies could put the natural environment at risk.
Scotland is home to a third of Europe’s breeding seabirds and 29 per cent of Europe’s seal population, while peatlands north of the border make up five per cent of the global total.
Charles Dundas, chair of Scottish Environment LINK, said: “Our environment is important not just in terms of its natural and cultural wealth. It is our life support system and we rely on it for food, clean water and air and jobs – 14 per cent of which exist as a result of our nature.
“But this is all under threat. Every day brings new evidence of the global ecological crisis that is underway. Even here in Scotland, with one in 11 species currently at risk of extinction, the effects of climate change and ecosystem collapse are apparent. The legal framework of protections and associated funding that we currently receive from the EU have been pivotal in holding back the tide of further biodiversity declines.”