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Question S5W-26437: Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of the role that Scottish Natural Heritage plays in protecting, enhancing and promoting Scotland’s nature, mitigating climate change and supporting sustainable development.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (19/11/2019):

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is a significant Scottish public body and they play an important role in coordinating delivery of Scotland’s biodiversity strategy, which is integral to tackling climate change. SNH also supports the achievement of a number of Scotland’s national outcomes related to the economy and wellbeing.

SNH delivers its statutory functions and priorities agreed with Scottish Ministers, including playing a lead role in Scottish Government funded peatland restoration. They also manage substantial additional expenditure programmes, such as the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention using European Regional Structural Funds which creates more green spaces across Scotland’s deprived towns and cities.

SNH will be playing an important role over the next year in the run up to the major biodiversity Conference of the Parties in China in October 2020, when new international biodiversity targets will be agreed. These targets will inform Scotland’s next biodiversity strategy and plans.

Over recent years, SNH has renewed its efforts to promote understanding and action to address biodiversity loss and climate change, including its work with partners and the public. As part of that it changed its domain name to ‘nature.scot’ in December 2017 and since then has adopted this for its brand identity, including on social media, corporate clothing, fleet livery and marketing material. SNH has now decided to complete this re-branding by changing the organisation’s public-facing name to ‘NatureScot’. This will come into effect from May 2020. Neither the organisation’s legal persona nor its responsibilities will change.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 19/11/2019.