£10m fund will help to restore nature and tackle biodiversity loss in Scotland.
In the 2021-22 budget, the Scottish Government’s 2021-22 committed to a new Nature Restoration Fund (NRF) which will provide additional funding for biodiversity.
In the first round of funding, £10m will support a mix of urban and rural-focused projects, such as improving green space, planting wildlife corridors and implementing natural flood management.
Half of the funding will go directly to local authorities, they will be required to submit details of how funding has been distributed to ensure positive outcomes are achieved.
The remaining £5m will be distributed to NatureScot where the funding will go directly to existing nature restoration projects across Scotland.
Environment minister Mairi McAllan, said: ‘Our new £10m fund will help to address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change in a way that supports Scotland’s urban and rural communities and tackles inequalities.
‘As we prepare to welcome COP26 to Glasgow later this year, we’re committed to raising our ambition for nature’s recovery. Our Statement of Intent sets out our ambitions and includes a new voluntary commitment to protect 30% of our land for nature by 2030.’
NatureScot chief executive Francesca Osowska said: ‘More people than ever now understand and support the need to put nature at the heart of our recovery from the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. With COP26 coming up, Scotland has a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.
‘This £10m investment is a significant boost for nature restoration, allowing us to support many more projects working to put our woodlands, peatlands, rivers and seas back on the road to recovery – taking carbon out of the atmosphere, adapting to climate change and reducing the risks of flood, drought and wildfire.
‘These nature-based solutions will not only help us reach net zero by 2045, but they’ll also provide the nature-rich future we need for a healthier, more resilient Scotland.’
In related news, in a study published last month, an international group of researchers have warned that biodiversity loss may have ‘long-term consequences’ for humans.
Photo by Robert Haverly