Ecology Strategy and Action Plan Consultation now open

Highland Council today (8 July 2024) launched a 12-week public consultation on its draft Ecology Strategy and Action Plan. 

The draft Ecology Strategy and Action Plan was approved at May’s meeting of Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee and sets out an ambitious set of actions to tackle biodiversity loss and address the ecological emergency.  

Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans, said: “The climate and ecological emergencies are interconnected, and biodiversity loss threatens our well-being and survival.

“The Highland Council, in collaboration with communities, partners, and stakeholders, must urgently address this crisis and attempt to reverse biodiversity loss.”

He added: “Our new strategy outlines the Council’s approach to tackling the ecological challenges, supporting Scotland’s goal to be nature-positive by 2030 and restore biodiversity by 2045.

“While we have begun improving biodiversity outcomes, intensifying our efforts is essential; a ‘Business as Usual’ approach may not suffice. Significant changes are necessary across the Council to integrate biodiversity measures into all operations and services.”

As stated in the Council Programme 2022-2027, Highland Council is committed to accelerating its response to the climate and ecological emergencies. 

Positive action can deliver economic, environmental, social, and health benefits, particularly in the region’s rural communities. 

Biodiversity is one of Highland’s greatest economic assets, contributing over £17 billion annually to Scotland’s economy. 

Cllr Gowans added: “Embracing the ‘green economy’ and fostering new green industries is essential. The scale of the ecological emergency is significant, requiring long-term vision and overcoming many challenges. 

“Through leadership and exemplary action, we can drive transformative efforts to address biodiversity loss in Highland.” 

Highland Council is now inviting public feedback on this strategy to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. 

Please share your thoughts and suggestions to help the Council refine and improve its approach. 

Visit the link below to view the draft Ecological Strategy and Action Plan and take part in the consultation. Closing date 30 September 2024. 

8 Jul 2024