McArthur comments after Parliament fails to declare a nature emergency

Commenting after the Scottish Parliament failed to declare a nature emergency, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur said:

"The planet and its wildlife are on the brink of irreparable damage. Parliament declared a climate emergency last year, and it is time to do likewise for the existential threat that is the nature emergency.

"It is disappointing that the Tories and SNP joined forces today to prevent such a declaration being made by parliament.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a radical and credible plan on how to address the intertwined climate and nature emergencies. From the roundabouts in the middle of our cities to the peatlands in the most remote parts of our country, we would boost biodiversity, conserve our natural assets and tackle the climate crisis."

Scottish Liberal Democrats also tabled an amendment, which wasn't selected for debate, which would have altered the motion to reiterate the declaration of a nature emergency:

"That the Parliament notes with grave concern the catastrophic collapse in biodiversity globally and in Scotland, with one in nine species threatened with extinction from Scotland, and therefore declares a nature emergency; believes that restoring nature should be a central component of green economic recovery and future rural support, stimulating the economy and creating jobs; calls for urgent legislation to halt the loss of biodiversity and to enable nature to recover through a coherent national ecological network, including well-managed, protected sites in good condition comprising at least 30% of Scotland’s sea and land by 2030, a third of which should be fully protected;considers that the nature emergency extends across every part of Scotland; calls for legislation for the immediate introduction of licensing for grouse moor management ensuring that all practices are sustainable and fully compatible with the declarations of climate and nature emergencies; further calls for the phasing out of large-scale peat extraction and for long-term funding security for peatland restoration projects; recalls amendment S5M-13876.2 on 13 September 2018 regarding salmon farming and the Parliament agreeing 'that the regulatory status quo is not an option'; urges the Scottish Government to address urgently the continued concerns in this regard in the interests of maintaining Scotland's reputation for high-welfare and quality produce; considers that EU biodiversity and environmental funding must be replaced, and believes that the Scottish Government's UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill in its current form will be insufficient in ensuring accountability around Scotland keeping pace with heightened EU nature protections.

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