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28 February 2003
Towards a Strategy for Scotlands Biodiversity:
Scottish Executive Environmental Group
(Filed 28th Feb 2003)
The Scottish Executive launched its Biodiversity
Strategy on February 25th, 2003 (1). Biodiversity
is fine, but the big question here is whether or not the Scottish
Executive has got matters in some sort of reasonable balance. After
all biodiversity itself is all about getting the balance right.
Land-Care will be analysing this document with
some care, hopefully in time for March 10th when, after a short
break, this website next takes on new material.
The first impression is that the document is full
of slogans, and much over-used words such as sustainable
being applied to everything. One wonders how on earth we have managed
to be sustained to this date. And yet we are told Scotland
has beautiful scenery and much biodiversity. I just wonder who might
have been responsible for that over the centuries and continuing,
bearing in mind that farming is by far the commonest use of land
Certainly encouraging biodiversity in a practical
and balanced manner is good thing, but as Andrew Mylius has pointed
out in his article, Land reform and
the Access Code: Problems and Unanswered Questions (2),
much of what Scottish farmers have achieved in terms of conservation
and biodiversity is put at serious risk by the legislation created
through the same body, the Scottish Executive.
The greatest need at the moment is educating the
public about existing biodiversity and how to respect it. However,
it would appear that the Scottish Executives aims far exceed
that first important step. The risk is that they will forge ahead
Just how the Access Code is drawn up will have
great influence on the opportunities for retaining the biodiversity
that many have taken so such trouble over the years to achieve.
1. Scottish Biodiversity Forum
(2003). Towards a strategy for Scotlands biodiversity: Biodiversity
Matters! Strategy Proposals. February 2003. (Download
2. Mylius, Andrew (2003). Land
Reform and the Access Code: Problems and Unanswered Questions.
(Filed 26 February 2003, www.land-care.org.uk,
here to view).