Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands
A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland
"Scotland's Biodiversity: It's In Your Hands" is a landmark strategy for Scotland. It sets out a vision for the future health of our biodiversity, and maps out a 25 year framework for action to conserve and enhance biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and well-being of all the people of Scotland.
Biodiversity means the variety of life around us - life of all kinds, from the largest animal to the smallest plant. In Scotland, biodiversity has always been fundamental to our lives. Scotland's biodiversity is part of our heritage. Our landscapes, and the plants and creatures that make and live in them, are recognised around the world and have underpinned our lives.
But we have also had a profound impact upon our natural heritage, and in recent years we have become far more conscious of that impact. From Rio, through the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, to the Johannesburg Summit, important steps have been taken along the road of recognising the need for co-ordinated action to safeguard our planet's irreplaceable natural heritage. This Strategy will guide that action in Scotland over the next 25 years.
A key theme of the Strategy is to raise public consciousness and reinforce the link between people and biodiversity - the need for people to appreciate, understand, protect, enjoy and above all else conserve Scotland's biodiversity. I want this Strategy to help us re-establish and strengthen the relationship between the people of Scotland and their natural world. Alongside the Nature Conservation Bill, which I anticipate will come into force later this year, the Strategy will give Scotland a new and integrated system of nature conservation.
The Strategy owes a huge debt to the members of the Scottish Biodiversity Forum. Its development has been a model of cooperation and shared vision between government, the private and public sectors, non-governmental bodies and individual members of the public. I acknowledge with gratitude everyone who has contributed to this work and has helped us produce a Strategy that does justice to Scotland and its priceless biodiversity.
I believe the Strategy will place Scotland at the forefront of international biodiversity conservation. I hope that it will be widely read and that all who read it will find it relevant to their daily lives. The task now is to turn the vision of the Strategy into action that makes a difference. No one of us can do this on our own. It is a shared challenge for each and every one of us - Scotland's biodiversity is in all our hands and it is our collective duty to conserve it for future generations.
Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development