Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity

The BES Scottish Policy Group is proudly supporting the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s two day biodiversity conference – Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity.

Red squirrel

The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity runs from 2011-2020 and aims to reduce any loss in biodiversity. The targets it promotes are the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The ‘2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity’ is Scotland’s response to this and the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2020. ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity: a route map to 2020’ sets out key priorities for action. The first progress report, published last year, sets out the ambition.

The Scottish Government, agencies, NGOs, environmental managers and the research community are working hard to improve biodiversity. Now over half way through the decade, we are in a strong position to review Scotland’s progress, hold stakeholders to account and make recommendations that support biodiversity across Scotland.

conference programme

Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity

Event details
The conference will be held at the RSE in Edinburgh on 10th and 11th October 2017 and is open to anyone for a fee.

Speakers: Around 40 conference speakers and organisers include senior representatives from: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Wildlife Trust, Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, James Hutton Institute, Greenspace Scotland, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Royal Society of Biology, Darwin Initiative, Woodland Trust, Young Scot, several universities and ReRoute – Scotland’s National Youth Biodiversity Panel.

Topics cover: responsibilities, challenges, perspectives, collaboration, the European and International context, progress towards 2020 targets, ecosystem restoration, natural capital, conserving wildlife, greenspace for health and education, sustainable management and more.

Through this conference we aim to support Scotland to achieve its biodiversity goals. A conference report will answer the various questions and highlight the key messages emerging from the conference. Professor Des Thompson (Fellow of the RSE and Principal Adviser on Biodiversity at SNH) and Professor Michael Usher (Fellow of the RSE, Professor at the University of Stirling, and formerly at SNH) will edit a special issue of Science Scotland to engage the general public in biodiversity issues. By engaging Young Scot, we are inspiring and informing a new generation of environmentalists.


Speakers will include: Dr Ian Jardine, Scottish Natural Heritage; Professor Eladio Fernandez-Galiano, Council of Europe; Ed Mackey, Scottish Natural Heritage; Clifton Bain, Royal Society for Protection of Birds; Chris Dodds, Scottish Government; Professor Richard Mitchell, University of Glasgow; Dr Deborah Long, University of Dundee; Professor Jeremy Wilson, RSPB Scotland; Professor Anne Magurran, University of St Andrews; Professor Colin Moffat, Scottish Government; Professor Pete Hollingsworth, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh; Dr Simon Girling, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland; Professor Stephen Blackmore; Professor Colin Campbell, The James Hutton Institute and Baroness Barbara Young of Old Scone


The BES Scottish Policy Group can offer a £70 travel and / or accommodation bursary for BES student members to help with the costs of attending the conference. There are only a limited number of places so please get in touch with Camilla to find out more.