Scotland is renowned worldwide as being a place of outstanding natural beauty. We owe that reputation to the diverse range of Scotland’s biodiversity.
This month really is all about biodiversity; the UN has declared the 22 May as International Day for Biological Diversity, Scotland's Nature Festival organised by Biodiversity Scotland runs from 21 to 29 May, and an exciting new electronic gateway to Scotland's biodiversity - the NBN Atlas Scotland - is being launched on 27 May. All these events aim to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues but why should we be bothering with biodiversity?
Every living thing in Scotland is fundamental to providing the natural goods and services we depend on to live. Our biodiversity supports tourism, farming, forestry, aquaculture and fishing industries. It adds variety to our urban green spaces and contributes hugely to our health, well-being and quality of life. Scotland’s nature can, and does, inspire our people.
We owe a lot to our biodiversity and it’s vital that we all play our part in safeguarding and reducing the threats facing it.
Scotland's environment web has a wealth of information and data to help you explore and learn more about our biodiversity.
From the 21st to 29th of May events are taking place across Scotland to celebrate biodiversity as part of Scotland's Nature Festival. Find out what's on near you and be a part of it.
The Biodiversity Scotland website is full of information about what you can do to protect and celebrate our biodiversity through your work or business or as an individual.
You'll find sector specific information on what you can do to help improve our biodiversity - whether you're a business, farmer, teacher, policy maker or a community group there is relevant advice and guidance available.
You can also find out more about Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs), how they help to conserve and enhance biodiversity at a local authority level and engage communities, and what's happening in your area.
Whether you're involved in new school builds, refurbishments or existing school grounds, the school estate can play a vital role in conserving Scotland's biodiversity. Have a look at the Biodiversity and the school estate section for lots of great information on how you can plan and manage school grounds for biodiversity.
Or why not sign-up to the Biodiversity Scotland newsletter to keep up-to-date with biodiversity news.
The NBN Atlas Scotland, an exciting new online resource, is now available. There will be an introductory launch for stakeholders on Friday 27 May at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh.
The NBN Atlas Scotland is your gateway to learning about Scotland’s natural world.
This collaborative project brings together data on plants, animals and habitats, collected by individuals and organisations throughout Scotland and makes them freely available online for use and analysis. The NBN Atlas Scotland is part of the Scotland's environment web family of daughter websites.
The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity: A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland, highlights the need to protect biodiversity for both its own sake but also because of the benefits the environment gives us.
The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity is a supplement to the Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in your hands (2004). Together, the two documents comprise the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. The 2020 Challenge document provides greater detail in some areas, responds to the new international targets, and updates some elements of the 2004 document. Last June a further document was published by the Scottish Government, Scotland’s Biodiversity – a Route Map to 2020, which sets out priority work for biodiversity over the next five years to 2020.
All documents are available on the Scottish Government website, where you can also find further information about what is being done to safeguard Scotland's biodiversity.
Take a look at the importance of bees to our natural environment in this short video from Scottish Natural Heritage. Biodiversity is at the core of much of what Scottish Natural Heritage do, such as management of designated sites, licensing for protected species, provision of funding for projects and groups, and it plays an important lead role in driving biodiversity action in Scotland. Find out more about the biodiversity work Scottish Natural Heritage is involved in on their website.
Scotland's forests might only cover 17% of the land but they support a high share of our fabulous biodiversity. Find out how Forestry Commission Scotland is working to enhance and conserve forest and woodland biodiversity in Variety is the spice of life - Action for nature of Scotland's National Forest Estate and on the website.
Recent estimates suggest that Scotland's seas are home to around 6,500 species of animals and plants (not counting the microbial flora). Read about how Marine Scotland manage our seas sustainably to protect this rich biodiversity.
As Scotland's principal regulator, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has clear statutory duties to protect and safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem status through its regulatory functions. Learn more on the SEPA website and in SEPA View articles:
Check out BBC Scotland's new series Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart, a four-part series narrated by Ewan McGregor that explores the wildlife and landscape of the Highlands through the seasons. Stunning footage of our biodiversity available from the comfort of your own sofa on Wednesdays, 9pm, BBC1 Scotland or on BBC iPlayer.
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NBN Atlas Scotland data on plants, animals and habitats in Scotland