The SNP Government has allocated £55 million over the next five years for projects that restore nature and tackle the causes of biodiversity loss.
The Nature Restoration Fund will spend at least £13.5 million annually on projects that address the biodiversity and climate crisis by putting Scotland's species, woodlands, rivers and seas back on the road to recovery.
The First Minister said:
“We have reached a critical juncture for action – with the hosting of COP26 here in Glasgow and COP15 in Kunming, China next Spring – and we in Scotland are playing a leading role. Through our leadership of the Edinburgh Process we are working to build commitment among governments around the world to raise the ambition at next year’s COP15 international biodiversity summit, in line with our own goal to halt the ongoing loss of nature by 2030.
“In addition today I am delighted to formally endorsed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, further embedding Scotland’s place among leading nations with the highest environmental ambition.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“In line with the SNP Government’s 2021/22 Programme, this investment is the biggest ever grant scheme specifically targeted at nature restoration.
“Most importantly, following the UK government’s withdrawal from the EU Life scheme, it will enable large-scale, multi-year, projects of the kind which are simply not possible with annual grants.
“It will allow new projects going forward across Scotland - on land and at sea - that address both biodiversity loss and climate change, restore our natural environment and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.
“I encourage organisations across North Ayrshire to apply once the fund opens."
Deborah Long, Chief Officer at Scottish Environment LINK, the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, said:
“The Nature Restoration Fund is a hugely important weapon in our fight against nature loss and climate change. By investing in multi-year, multi scale projects, focussed on the species and habitats that need most help, a future for Scotland’s nature, young people and communities across Scotland looks a lot more promising.”
The Nature Restoration Fund supports action on the ground to address the biodiversity and climate crises by aiding nature restoration in Scotland’s terrestrial and marine environment, enabling transformative change through large-scale, multi-year, multi-partner projects.
This forms part of the wider commitment to invest £500 million in the natural economy over the course of the parliament to support a transformative approach to protecting and restoring Scotland’s biodiversity.