Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald joined Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change to launch the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre today.
They were also joined at the launch by representatives from Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and pupils from Grangemouth’s Sacred Heart Primary School.
The strategy aims to:
• increase the general level of biodiversity on land and in our seas, and support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems;
• engage people with the natural world, for the health and well-being benefits that this brings, and empower them to have a say in decisions about their environment;
• maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth.
The ultimate aim is for Scotland to be recognised as a world leader in biodiversity by 2030.
Mr Wheelhouse and Mr MacDonald toured Jupiter Wildlife Centre and met local school children for a pond dipping session. They also met with volunteers who are gaining valuable employment skills.
Angus MacDonald MSP commented
“I was delighted to attend the launch of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy with Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre which is a unique facility. This is an exciting opportunity to progress an ambitious vision for Scotland.
“Some 6 months ago, during a Parliamentary debate on biodiversity, I invited the Minister to visit the Jupiter site, and am delighted that his visit has been combined with the launch of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
“Part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Jupiter centre is well placed to assist in achieving the aims of the strategy and encourage interest in wildlife and the environment to people of all ages.
“The strategy sets out a number of new directions for nature conservation in Scotland and builds on what has worked well in the past as we have seen here at Jupiter.
“Jupiter has grown and developed massively from small beginnings in the middle of industrial Grangemouth and is now a fantastic demonstration of how urban green space can be created from wasteland.
“The reserve is a valuable educational and community resource which is home to an amazing variety of wildlife.”
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said:
“Scotland is home to over 90,000 species and the natural environment plays an important role in our wellbeing, our identity and our economy. Nature lies at the very heart of what makes Scotland such a special place to live and work and that’s why we’re committed to halting biodiversity loss.
“The Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is an oasis in the middle of industrial Scotland where wildlife can flourish and people can improve their physical and mental health. Children can learn about the world around them and adults can gain new skills to help secure employment.
“It is all of these things that are at the heart of the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity. Nature can do a huge amount for us all and we, in turn, can do far more for nature.”
Mr MacDonald continued:
“Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is open during the summer months and entry is free. I would encourage visitors to take advantage of this and participate in the many activities that take place.”
More information can be found at the centre website. http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/jupiter-urban-wildlife-centre/