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S6W-04729: Maurice Golden (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2021

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on developing ecosystem health indicators subsequent to those introduced in 2017, as referenced in one of the supporting documents to the 2018 document, Developing an Environment Strategy for Scotland: Discussion Paper, which states that "work is underway to develop a set of ecosystem health indicators for Scotland which will provide a comprehensive assessment."

Answered by: Mairi McAllan 16 December 2021

There is now a suite of 15 ecosystem health indicators relating to condition, function and resilience of ecosystems, available on Scotland’s Environment Web at: https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/ . NatureScot is currently working on updates to the indicators to take advantage of new data that have become available.

At the time of the 2018 discussion paper, NatureScot and the James Hutton Institute were working to develop two new indicators, for nitrogen pollution and summer temperatures. Both indicators use bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) which are very sensitive to environmental change. This work has been completed and the additional indicators are available on Scotland’s Environment Web, at: https://www.environment.gov.scot/our-environment/state-of-the-environment/ecosystem-health-indicators/resilience-indicators/ .