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

As I said in my statement, there will be an uplift of funding to SNH. Conserving biodiversity is a core function of SNH and Scottish ministers provide SNH with funding for that function. SNH expects to spend £18.7 million on biodiversity conservation in 2006-06. It also has a grant programme of more than £15 million in 2006-07, more than £2 million of which is allocated for biodiversity action.

Nora Radcliffe is of course right: several other organisations have a specific responsibility to promote biodiversity and fund biodiversity activity. Those bodies include the Forestry Commission Scotland, which expects to spend £7.6 million on biodiversity conservation during 2006-07: £3.6 million on woodland management and £4 million on planting woodlands that have a high biodiversity benefit. That money will mostly come through the Scottish forestry grant scheme. The Forestry Commission Scotland also spends a further £5.7 million on deer management.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency also has a specific responsibility to contribute to biodiversity conservation through its core function. SEPA has appointed additional staff to support that function and it also funds research on biodiversity and conservation issues. Other bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund also provide funding for biodiversity action. That is in addition to the wide range of public bodies throughout Scotland that are engaged in furthering biodiversity conservation as required by the biodiversity duty under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.