Sir David Attenborough has called on the government to create “powerful new environmental laws” to save Scotland’s wildlife, after a report found that more than one in ten species could disappear.
The naturalist and broadcaster, 93, has joined forces with the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) to demand action to help nature recover.
Sir David, the President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, calls on the government to create and connect wild places across the country in a short film released today.
Speaking in response to the continued declines in wildlife highlighted by the State of Nature report, he also urges members of the public to join the SWT’s Wilder Future campaign.
Sir David said: “A wildlife-rich natural world is vital for our wellbeing and survival. We need wild places, to thrive. Yet many of our systems and laws have failed the natural world.
“We now live in one of the most nature depleted places on the planet. Nature urgently needs our help to recover -- and it can be done. By joining up wild places and creating more across the UK we would improve our lives and help nature to flourish, because everything works better when it’s connected.
“Now is the time to tell our politicians that we need an ecological network set in Scottish law. A legally binding network for nature would mean that wildlife is prioritised when managing our land and planning our towns.
“Powerful new environmental laws can ensure habitats are expanded and reconnected meaning all life will thrive once more.
“It’s time to turn things around. Nature is capable of extraordinary recovery but we must act now. Tell your politicians now is the time to put nature into recovery. Everything works better when it’s connected.”
Sir David has made the call for change following the shock findings of the recent State of Nature report 2019, which revealed the “crisis” state of wildlife north of the Border.
Among its findings, the report revealed that, since recording began, 49 per cent of Scottish species have decreased while only 28 per cent have increased. Of the 6413 species assessed in Scotland, 11 per cent were classified as threatened with extinction from Scotland. The report, described as the most comprehensive yet, concluded that it is not too late to act, however.
Jo Pike, Chief Executive of the SWT joined Sir David’s call for change, adding: “Greater investment in nature must be at the heart of solving both of these challenges. We need swift and strategic action to protect and restore Scotland’s natural habitats.”