Scotland’s nature agency NatureScot has published its vision for the next four years, setting out an ambitious plan to protect, restore and value nature.

The plan commits to bold action and renewed focus in tackling the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

It sets out a route-map to halt nature loss by 2030 and deliver nature restoration at scale across Scotland by 2045.

Priority areas for Scotland’s nature agency over the next four years include:

  • Leading the delivery of 30% of land and sea being protected by 2030
  • Scaling up peatland restoration through the Peatland ACTION project to substantially exceed Scotland’s goal of 250,000 ha of restored peatland by 2030
  • Delivering a major Nature Restoration Fund targeted at high impact and landscape-scale nature recovery and climate projects
  • Substantially reducing deer numbers to enable our woodlands and peatlands to naturally grow and capture carbon.

Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said: “The Scottish Government has been working closely with NatureScot to develop this plan, which presents a sharp focus on restoring and protecting Scotland’s natural environment to deliver ‘a nature rich future for all’.

“This autumn we will publish a new biodiversity strategy with ambitious targets to protect at least 30% of Scotland’s land and sea for nature, and highly protect 10%. I look forward to working with NatureScot to achieve our goals both at home and abroad.

“2022 will be a crucial year for nature – at COP15 a new global framework for halting biodiversity loss will be agreed. Scotland has been leading the Edinburgh process, mobilising other sub-national governments, cities, states and regions around the world to agree shared goals for nature.”

NatureScot Chair Dr Mike Cantlay said: “Nature is in crisis and we face a climate emergency. Much has been achieved but we know that greater urgency is needed to meet these colossal challenges.