If you search this blog for the word ‘praise’, you’ll see the Scottish Government praised for it’s openness and responsiveness to research from agencies such as the British Medical Association, the United Nations and European Commission. Now the British Ecological Society has said:
‘Engaging with Scottish Parliament is much easier, as it is more accessible, than at Westminster, making it easier to engage policymakers directly. This means that in Scotland there is a unique opportunity to closely link policy to research.’
Examples of how science-based policies have helped to protect bio-diversity in Scotland have been offered by the RSPB:
- One strategy that has been successful is protecting the corn bunting (Emberiza calandra), which has been in decline for a number of decades in Scotland, due to modern agricultural practices. A package of simple measures including compensating farmers for later silage cutting and leaving strips of grain unharvested for winter food were introduced. This has been followed up by monitoring which has shown how population numbers have increased.
- A more general science-based policy success has been agri-environment schemes implemented over the last 30 years. For birds, they have included the introduction of field margins, skylark nesting patches in fields, and later meadow mowing, all backed up by subsidies. Most measures have shown that these policies have been successful in maintaining and enhancing biodiversity.