Scotland hosts Biodiversity Conference

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GENERAL…
The value of a healthy environment should not be underestimated, even in the toughest of economic times, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said today.

The Minister was speaking at the UK Biodiversity Partnership Conference held in Stirling today and tomorrow.

Ms Cunningham said:

“2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, a time when we need to reflect on what has been achieved so far and focus on the big challenges ahead that we need to meet.

“New UN and EU targets bring new challenges. We need a huge change in thinking – away from simply repairing damage to biodiversity, and towards addressing the pressures and building healthy landscapes for the benefit of all.

“Over the next few years resources will be very tight. It should prompt us to be imaginative both in the mechanisms we consider, and in the partners that we seek. We can best learn from each other if we are prepared to try different things, and learn what works.

Taking a UK-wide approach brings the benefit of a broad knowledge base and the ability to better influence and respond to policy at EU and UN levels, she said.

Ms Cunningham also outlined to the 150 delegates attending the conference the achievements of the Scottish Parliament since devolution. These included setting up Scotland’s first National Parks, creation of the Scotland Rural Development Programme and the ‘ambitious’ climate change legislation.