Date lodged: 29 June 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what progress Scottish Natural Heritage has made in the development of an agreed National Ecological Network.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 26 July 2017
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is currently preparing a paper on a national ecological network for Scotland in the context of the commitment in the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity to complete the suite of protected areas and improve their connectivity through a national ecological network centred on those sites.
The SNH work is being informed by A Roadmap for Adopting a National Ecological Network for Scotland published by Scottish Environment LINK in May and by recent discussion with Scottish Environment LINK, Scottish Government officials and others. Further engagement with stakeholders on this is planned for the autumn.
Work is continuing on a number of the projects in Scotland’s Biodiversity - A Route Map to 2020 which contribute to ecological connectivity, including: a £2.3 million EcoCo LIFE project for habitat restoration and creation to improve ecological coherence within the Central Scotland Green Network; habitat restoration and species management; conservation management of protected sites; and improvements to green infrastructure. In September, a new indicator on ecological connectivity will be published as part of the new suite of Ecosystem Health Indicators.