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Environment Secretary sets out priorities

Published: 1 Jun 2016 14:45

Wildlife crime review, climate change and land reform action highlighted.

A number of priorities to protect Scotland's natural environment have been outlined by the Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

Speaking in a Parliamentary debate, Ms Cunningham highlighted key actions she will take, including:

  • Review wildlife crime prevention
  • Consult on a public register of controlling interests in land in early summer
  • Establish more ambitious climate change targets
  • Establish the Scottish Land Commission by 1 April, 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said:

"Our land, our air, our seas, our climate, our flora and our fauna - there can be no doubt that our stunning natural environment is one of Scotland's most precious assets. How we own, manage, control, conserve, promote, support and develop all of these individually and collectively matter hugely to this Government's ambitions for our country.

"Put simply, they form the backbone upon which a fairer Scotland and a strong, sustainable, low carbon economy can and should be built. Our natural capital is a national asset and, like any other asset, we must ensure that it remains in good condition now and for the future.

"The biggest threat to our social and economic ambitions comes from climate change. That is why this Government has worked to make Scotland a world leader on climate change and we have a record of which we can be proud. We will establish a new and more testing target for 2020 - of reducing actual Scottish emissions by at least 50 per cent.

"On land reform, our new Act seeks to transform our relationship with the land while helping to create a Fairer Scotland. We will introduce a mandatory public register of landowners' controlling interests and I can announce today that the consultation will begin in early summer. I feel hugely privileged to be leading the Government's work to develop the idea of the environment as a public good that we need to protect and grow."