21 December 2020

Aberdeenshire becomes first Scottish local authority to sign up to important biodiversity declaration

Aberdeenshire Council has become the first Scottish local authority to sign an important declaration committing its support for local action on conservation of biodiversity.

The Edinburgh Biodiversity Declaration will be submitted to COP15 – the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties – when it meets in Kunming, China in May next year.

Its aim is to send a strong message to conference that supporting local action is key to protecting the natural environment on which we all depend.

The vision for the 2021 conference is to ensure a world where we are “living in harmony with nature”.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Sustainability Committee agreed last month to instruct the authority’s chief executive to sign the Edinburgh Declaration

Today (Mon, Dec 21, 2020), Committee chair Cllr Iain Taylor said: “We hope to send a strong signal to national governments that we believe in action for nature at the local level. There are many community groups and partnerships across Aberdeenshire carrying out really important work for the natural environment and we want to see this work properly supported.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “Aberdeenshire Council is involved in supporting and working with a wide range of community initiatives and local projects on nature conservation.

“These include Aberdeenshire’s Greenspace project which works with communities to find areas where tree and wildflower planting can be used to create more natural and welcoming open space. The North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership also provides wildflower seed to communities interested in creating more natural greenspaces.”

Chief executive Jim Savege said: “We were delighted to be welcomed as the first local authority signatory to this Declaration for Biodiversity and I hope it will raise the profile of work to conserve biodiversity across Scotland and beyond.

"As a council, we recognise the key role protecting and restoring nature has in securing our support systems, reducing carbon emissions and allowing us to adapt to climate change.”