IEMA's Policy and Engagement Lead for Biodiversity and Natural Capital, Lesley Wilson discusses the recent Scotland Biodiversity Strategy consultation and IEMA's responses.


Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy consultation was published by the Scottish Government on 20th June this year. The proposed vision is to have substantially restored and regenerated biodiversity across Scotland’s land, freshwater and seas by 2045.

The previous biodiversity strategy was published in 2014 with a supplementary document, the ‘2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity’, that contained clear objectives up to 2020.

This new strategy follows on from a statement of intent on biodiversity post-2020 published in December 2021 and aims to be the prelude to a series of statutory nature restoration targets and a new Natural Environment Bill.

The Scotland Biodiversity Strategy looks impressive with many clearly laid out proposals however it lacks strong measurables with which to gauge the level of ambition by.

IEMA’s key responses to the consultation were as follows:

  • To think of biodiversity as having economic value and to use natural capital as a way to talk about biodiversity and nature
  • To consider including the concept of biodiversity net gain as a tool for nature restoration
  • To ensure all stakeholders, especially local authorities, are brought into the strategy, including actions to encourage collaboration and buy-in from the bottom up
  • To give more information about how the strategy will be delivered including how to finance biodiversity actions and manage offsetting
  • To align the strategy with national and international activities to make it easier for environmental professionals, businesses and other stakeholders to act

The consultation closed on 12 September 2022. There were no dates given for the next steps and we will watch this space with anticipation. Read IEMA's written evidence here.

Photo of Lesley
Lesley Wilson

Policy and Engagement Lead

Lesley is Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA with a focus on biodiversity and natural capital. Lesley also supports IEMA’s role as Secretariat to the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum, working with businesses to raise the profile of, mainstream, and share good practice in, biodiversity. Lesley joined IEMA in December 2021 after 11 years delivering projects, programmes and solutions for business in the field of environmental sustainability for the British Standards Institution (BSI), including ground breaking standards in biodiversity net gain and natural capital. Lesley has a qualification in business management (MBA) and climate change management, and mentors environmental students at the University of Westminster.