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International Year of Plant Health 2020

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th November 2019.

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Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

I absolutely agree with that. Urban trees are vital for mitigating the effects of climate change. They also have aesthetic qualities and, because of that, they are a prominent feature in urban developments.

The plant health centre is commissioning a biosecurity project in 2020 that will address the risks resulting from imported rather than domestically produced trees being planted in those developments. The project outputs will help us to work with councils and landscapers to ensure that urban planting continues, but with fewer biosecurity risks.

When it comes to urban planning and what we are doing in urban environments, we support projects through the community growing fund. I visited a project that North Edinburgh Arts set up after successfully applying for that funding. In addition, the Central Scotland Green Network Trust covers 3.6 million people and 86 per cent of Scotland’s most deprived areas. It is tackling derelict land and promoting active travel.

We recognise the importance of tree planting, planting hedges and pollinator corridors in our urban areas, and we are determined to continue that work.