Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is simply the variety of life - all living things around us; the plants, animals, insects in our forests, mountains, rivers, seas, gardens and parks, right down to the things living in our soils. It is the living bank balance which supports all our lives and is vital for our survival. Biodiversity provides us with crucial resources like fresh air and clean water for our daily lives and because it is basically our life support system it is really important that we look after it properly. But that is no easy task and it needs the help of many different people throughout Scotland and the UK to achieve this.
Is Biodiversity in decline?
Scotland's wildlife is diverse and stunning. But that is not to say that all of it is as secure or as abundant as it might be. The resilience of the natural world - and ecosystem services such as climate regulation, the pollination of flowering plants and the provision of fresh water - can not be taken for granted. Globally, biodiversity is being lost at an increasing rate.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the world's oldest and largest global environmental network - last published the annual "Red List", a global report on the status of biodiversity in 2009. The statistics from this report state that 21 percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, 28 percent of reptiles, 37 percent of freshwater fishes, 70 percent of plants, and 35 percent of invertebrates assessed are under threat. In the last hundred years at least 100 species have become extinct in Britain alone.
What is the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity?
The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity - an ambitious strategy to protect and restore Scotland's biodiversity was launched on 19 June 2013 by Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse. The new 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity is a supplement to the original Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands. The latter was published by the Scottish Government in May 2004. The main aims of the report are to:
- Protect and restore biodiversity on land and in our seas, and to support healthier ecosystems.
- Connect people with the natural world, for their health and wellbeing and to involve them more in decisions about their environment.
- Maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing a sustainable economic growth.
What Local Action can I get involved in?
The Tayside Biodiversity Partnership educates and promotes the wonderful nature of the Tayside area. The partnership, covering the Angus and Perthshire area takes action forward and has published a set of action plans and other informational guides aimed at safeguarding and enhancing local biodiversity. This Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) can be viewed at any Angus Council library or in the Biodiversity section of this website and at the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership website. A new 10 year plan is currently is currently being written and will be published by the end of 2014.
Who do I contact for further information?
Visit the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership website or contact:
Tayside Biodiversity Co-ordinator
Tayside Biodiversity Partnership
c/o Perth & Kinross Council
The Environment Service
35 Kinnoull Street
Perth PH1 5GD
Service Page: biodiversity.htm
Service Details Last Reviewed : 7 May 2014