100 days of action for Scotland’s endangered species

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100 day challenge to promote biodiversity

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5th June 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Members of the Scottish Parliament have signed up to a challenge to raise awareness of the country’s biodiversity.

More than 100 MSPs have agreed to become species champions, where they are matched with an animal or plant which needs protection.

They have now agreed to a 100 day challenge to participate in a series of actions raising awareness about their selected species, encouraging policy changes in support of them and raising awareness about wider biodiversity in Scotland.

Scottish Environment Link, which runs the pairing scheme, says almost one in 10 species in Scotland is at risk of extinction and political support for protecting our precious natural environment has never been more critical.

Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South and convener of the Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, said: “Being species champion for the woolly willow has been, and continues to be, an enjoyable learning experience. I am delighted that there are now 100 MSPs committed to championing species.

“The 100-day challenge will provide a good focal point for this and I look forward to hearing about the actions taken by MSPs to promote their species.”

Craig Macadam, Scottish Environment Link vice-chair, added: “With the support of over 100 MSP species champions, representing 78% of the Scottish Parliament and covering every corner of Scotland we hope to put biodiversity at the centre of the parliament’s attention. Our environment has no voice so we needs species champions to stand up for it. 

“From planning to agriculture and from tourism to healthcare, the protection and enhancement of our biodiversity must be acknowledged as a key ingredient to our success as a nation – and our policies need to reflect that. If we don’t, we will fall short on our 2020 global biodiversity commitments and our ambitions for a sustainable Scotland.”

Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland and species champion for holly tree and bilberry bumblebee, campaigns against greenbelt development

100 days of action for Scotland’s endangered species

Since taking on his second species in February, Graham Simpson MSP has been active in local campaigns to safeguard greenbelt areas in the context of the recent planning bill. Graham has visited his species, holly, in the Woodhall and Faskine greenbelt to learn about issues, threats and conservation work. He has also lodged a motion on the issue of greenbelt development and led the subsequent debate on "save the greenbelt" in parliament in March.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western and species champion for rusty bog-moss visits his species at Red Moss in Balerno

100 days of action for Scotland’s endangered species

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has recently taken up the ​title of 'moss boss’ and champions rusty bog-moss, an important species in the context of peat bog development and carbon storage. Alex recently visited Red Moss in Balerno to learn about his species and view first hand conservation efforts to re-flood  bog areas. His species and raised bog areas have both a national an international significance in the context of climate change mitigation.

Colin Smyth, MSP for South Scotland and species champion for badgers delivers a speech at the annual Badger Week event

100 days of action for Scotland’s endangered species

In May, Colin Smyth MSP engaged with members of the public, staff and volunteers involved in badger conservation as part of Scottish Badger Week 2018. Colin actively champions his species in many ways; from publicising issues on social media, viewing his species, visiting experts, volunteers and the public and lodging parliamentary motions. The work Colin does helps to raise awareness and promote action for issues surrounding badger persecution and wildlife crime.