Scotland unveils plans for new Centre of Expertise in Biodiversity

It will bring together experts who will advise policymakers in government, local authorities and public bodies on how best to tackle biodiversity loss

The Scottish Government has unveiled plans to commission a new Centre of Expertise in Biodiversity 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 tackle biodiversity loss.

It is expected to be established during the course of the next research programme which starts in 2022.

The draft strategy also sets out plans for funding research on topics not previously included in the programme, such as air quality and the circular economy.

The research programme currently received £48 million of investment from the Scottish Government every year, supporting nearly 1,500 jobs across Scotland and enabled research institutions to leverage £28 million in additional funding from other UK and international funders in 2018/19.

The Scottish Government is now consulting on the strategy until 14th December 2020, seeking views on future research priorities and delivery mechanisms.

Scottish Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “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.”

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