Scotland's Species

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:02 pm on 22nd March 2006.

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Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour 3:02 pm, 22nd March 2006

I thank Rob Gibson for referring to invasive non-native species. Scotland faces a big challenge because of species such as the American mink, the rhododendron and the signal crayfish. It is clear that issues will need to be addressed. We need to work closely with a range of people within and beyond Scotland to deal with invasive non-native species, which are invading not just Scotland but England and Wales. Therefore, we are working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Assembly for Wales on, for example, some transboundary issues. We are members of the Great Britain-wide programme board for non-native species, which was set up to ensure that policy and action on non-natives is joined up across Governments and agencies.

In Scotland, a working group has been set up specifically to co-ordinate the overall response of public sector bodies to the challenges that non-native species pose. The working group will consider a range of issues, including the better integration of policy and practice across the public sector, the action that is already being taken and the support that is needed to consider wider action on non-native species. I would be happy to provide the member with further detail on the work that is being done on non-native species in Scotland.