Scottish Government announces new Centre of Expertise in Biodiversity and launches consultation on research strategy

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Plans to commission a Scottish Centre of Expertise in Biodiversity have been announced as part of the new draft strategy for the environment, natural resources and agricultural research programme.

The Centre will bring together experts who will advise policymakers in government, local authorities and public bodies on how best to combat biodiversity loss.

The Centre will be established during the course of the next research programme which begins in 2022.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented on the announcement: “As we look forward, how we use our land and other natural assets will all need to be re-imagined in order to build Scotland’s green recovery from COVID-19 and address the twin threats of biodiversity loss and climate change.

“Scotland is playing a central role in developing environmental solutions to the global climate and nature crises, and our response is based on the strongest possible scientific evidence.

“Our environment, natural resources and agriculture research programme is central to achieving this.

“I am proud of the progress that we have made in Scotland in responding to the global climate emergency and enhancing our natural environment.

“However, there is still much to do, and it is vital that our future policy decisions are rooted in evidence.

“The research priorities and plans set out in this strategy will be central to this approach.”

As well as a new focus on biodiversity, the draft strategy sets out plans for funding research on topics not previously included in the research programme, including air quality and the circular economy.

A public consultation on the strategy is now open, seeking views on future research priorities and delivery mechanisms, closing on 14 December 2020.

More information about the consultation and submitting evidence is available on the Scottish Government website.