Biodiversity - international, national and local aspirations

23 December 2022

December 2022

Biodiversity is definitely the word of the month.  As the COP15 conference of parties to the UN Biological Diversity Convention ends in Montreal, there is a flurry of related information and activity.

Internationally, COP15 has resulted in an agreement (The Guardian), apparently forced through by Chinese conference President Huang Runqiu in the face of opposition from several African countries, which aims 'to put humanity on a path to living in harmony with nature by the middle of the century.'

At national level, the Scottish Government published its draft Biodiversity Strategy, introduced at COP15 by Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater. 

The Scottish Government also instigated the Edinburgh Process to encourage the participation of 'sub-national' governments - regional and provincial governments, city, town and rural councils etc -  '. .  in the development of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and to ensure inclusion of all levels of government in the planning, reporting and implementation phases.'  The outcome of the process, started in 2020, was the formulation of the Edinburgh Declaration in August 2021.

Closer to home, Highland Environment Forum, led by the indefatigable Caroline Vaudrey, has published (2021) a biodiversity action plan  'Highland Nature  2021 - 2026', and has set up a number of working groups and published  other documents to support the plan.

On 12 December Highland Council leader Raymond Bremner, with the Chair of the recently-established Climate Change Committee Karl Rosie, signed the Edinburgh Declaration on behalf of the Council at a meeting with Francesca Osowska, CEO of NatureScot.  Ms Osowska said

“We welcome Highland Council signing the Edinburgh Declaration, demonstrating its strong commitment to tackle the nature and climate change emergencies. The Highlands is a beautiful and special place, and it is crucial we continue to build on the work – such as peatland restoration, tree regeneration and much more – to protect and restore nature throughout the region.”

See more detail on all of these at  Environment / Biodiversity


BUT . . as we all bask in a rosy glow of satisfaction at how well Scotland is doing, there's a cold blast of warning to Nicola Sturgeon from the UK Committee on Climate Change, who say that 

Scotland’s highly ambitious climate targets are “in danger of being meaningless” because her government still has no clear plan to meet them.

The Guardian  7 December 2022  Severin Carroll  Scotland Editor



We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.