Scotland Policy Conferences

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Next steps for biodiversity and nature protection in Scotland

key priorities | Strategic Framework & policy | Natural Environment Bill | monitoring & evaluation | agriculture & land use | moving towards Biodiversity Net Gain | EU & international policy

Morning, Wednesday, 11th September 2024


This conference will focus on next steps for biodiversity and nature protection in Scotland.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to examine implementation of key measures in the draft Strategic Framework for Biodiversity, including:

  • the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy - with the target for Scotland to become nature positive by 2030, with restored and regenerated biodiversity by 2045
  • options for a proposed Natural Environment Bill - which would introduce statutory and legally binding nature recovery targets

Delegates will examine the current state of biodiversity in Scotland and plans to deliver change outlined in the policy framework, including how to address the practicalities of biodiversity loss in the short-term, and longer-term actions, looking at issues and potential pathways towards The Scottish Government’s target.

The agenda focuses on key issues emerging from The Scottish Government’s consultation on the Framework, including calls for specific, measurable and achievable statutory targets, and a detailed baseline for biodiversity. We also expect discussion on strategic options for a potential national programme for species recovery, in the context of the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill which recently passed Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament and aims to provide a support framework to aid nature restoration.

Delegates will assess strategies for developing an effective monitoring and evaluation framework, and what will be needed to support key sectors to meet new proposed statutory targets, as well as priorities for supporting resilience in Scotland’s natural environment, and boosting the role of nature-based solutions in meeting wider climate and net zero targets.

Further sessions look at key considerations for balancing nature protection with productive agricultural output, and approaches to biodiversity conservation in the context of wider economic and industry growth. We expect discussion on reforms and proposals outlined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill, as well as the place of biodiversity and natural capital within Scotland’s economy.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Dr Dave Signorini, Director, Environment and Forestry, The Scottish Government; and Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive, NatureScot.

Sessions in the agenda include:

  • policy context: assessing the current state of biodiversity and nature protection - key priorities going forward
  • Scotland’s biodiversity strategy: immediate priorities - addressing drivers of biodiversity loss - focusing on key species and ecosystem outcomes - promoting nature-based solutions
  • stakeholder roles and support: enhancing collaborative structures - addressing harmful practices - agricultural sector transition to enhanced biodiversity and nature protection
  • implementation: effective monitoring and evaluation - developing a coordinated approach - options for alignment with relevant EU and international policy
  • Natural Environment Bill:
    • priorities for effective development and implementation - options for measurable and achievable statutory targets - protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
    • introducing a programme of ecosystem restoration - partnership projects for restoration areas - improving resilience and moving towards Biodiversity Net Gain
  • policy for the future: next steps and long-term priorities for nature protection - implementing Scotland’s biodiversity strategy

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from The Scottish Government; Defra; DAERA, NI; and the Welsh Government.

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Francesca Osowska

Chief Executive, NatureScot

Dr Dave Signorini

Director, Environment and Forestry, The Scottish Government

Keynote Speakers

Dr Dave Signorini

Director, Environment and Forestry, The Scottish Government

Francesca Osowska

Chief Executive, NatureScot


Bruce Wilson

Head, Policy and Advocacy, Scottish Wildlife Trust

Paul Walton

Head, Habitat and Species, RSPB Scotland

Emilie Wadsworth

Senior Climate Resilience Manager, Sniffer

Charlotte Maddix

Scotland Advocacy Coordinator, Rewilding Britain

Sarah Cowie

Senior Policy Manager, NFU Scotland

Davy McCracken

Head, Department of Integrated Land Management, Scotland’s Rural College

Joyce Campbell

Farmer and Landowner, Armadale Farm