Co-leaders sign Edinburgh Declaration on Biodiversity

Publish Date: Friday September 3, 2021

The Edinburgh Declaration on biodiversity was signed today by Fife Council co-leaders Cllr David Alexander and Cllr David Ross. The Edinburgh Declaration brings UK cities and local authorities together to express their deep concern about the significant implications of loss of biodiversity and climate change on livelihoods and communities. It sets out the aspirations and commitments of the Scottish Government and partners, including Fife Council to delivering for nature over the coming decade.

Co-leader Cllr David Alexander said: ” It is important for Fife Council to be a part of the Edinburgh Declaration on Biodiversity and to make a commitment to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve local biodiversity. Healthy biodiversity and ecosystems are key for our well-being and to build resilience, both during and after the pandemic, and it should be central to our recovery. We know that the impacts on our environment, infrastructure, economy, health and wellbeing, and our enjoyment of nature are already apparent. Fife Council will be taking a lead as we work together to adapt and change.”

Co-leader Cllr David Ross said: “Fife Council is working on an extensive range of projects and initiatives in partnership with many organisations and communities to improve Fife’s environment for biodiversity. Wherever possible, the council seeks to achieve multiple benefits through these initiatives to maximise opportunities for people as well as wildlife. Engagement of local people is key in order to encourage understanding and enjoyment of biodiversity. By signing the Edinburgh Declaration on Biodiversity on behalf of the people of Fife we are promising to take action to protect our biodiversity.”

Jeremy Harris Chief Executive Officer of Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) said: “FCCT is taking a leading role in protecting Fife’s biodiversity and its extraordinary natural environment. Although there are many challenges facing us, I also see exciting opportunities to engage the people of Fife in the natural world around them. During the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen thousands of people shifting from their couches and onto their local footpaths. FCCT will be a champion for the natural environment and will be working closely with Fife Council to meet the commitments of the Edinburgh declaration.”

Fife Council’s key projects and actions to protect and improve biodiversity include:

  • The Leven Programme: cross-service involvement in this ambitious, catchment-scale environmental and socio-economic regeneration project.
  • The Lyne Burn Green Network project with Scottish Environment Protection Agency to restore a section of river and create a high quality ‘riverside park’ in central Dunfermline.
  • A 40ha woodland creation scheme at former Minto colliery and embarking on a partnership with Rural Skills Scotland to undertake woodland management of key sites with training and employability outcomes.
  • Taking forward river restoration projects in partnership with Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Fife Coast & Countryside Trust for Back Burn and River Leven, both at concept and developed design phase.
  • Publication of Climate Fife – Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan 2020-2030.
  • The Wildlife Sites re-survey and reassessment project which will ensure up-to-date information is available on Fife’s many designations.
  • Resourcing project development with committed and proactive staff are taking forward at a time when capacity and resources are increasingly challenging.
  • Shortlisted for the Most Innovative Fleet Management Strategy Award and the Annual Future Fleet Awards in January 2020.

 

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