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Carnivorous plants return to Lancashire peatland after 100 years

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Insect-eating sundew plants among 17,500 reintroduced as part of carbon-sequestering conservation schemeAfter a 100-year absence, ruthless carnivores are flourishing again on a peat bog near Garstang in Lancashire.The insect-eating great sundew and oblong-leaved sundew are among 17,500 plants being reintroduced to Winmarleigh Moss as part of its restoration by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Continue reading...

Insect-eating sundew plants among 17,500 reintroduced as part of carbon-sequestering conservation schemeAfter a 100-year absence, ruthless carnivores are flourishing again on a peat bog near Garstang in Lancashire.The insect-eating great sundew and oblong-leaved sundew are among 17,500 plants being reintroduced to Winmarleigh Moss as part of its restoration by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Continue reading...

Insect-eating sundew plants among 17,500 reintroduced as part of carbon-sequestering conservation scheme

After a 100-year absence, ruthless carnivores are flourishing again on a peat bog near Garstang in Lancashire.

The insect-eating great sundew and oblong-leaved sundew are among 17,500 plants being reintroduced to Winmarleigh Moss as part of its restoration by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Continue reading...
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Costa Rica’s Guide for Responsible Tourism This Season

As we approach the peak of the tourist season, Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) has released detailed guidelines to ensure that both national and international visitors can enjoy and protect the country’s natural wonders responsibly. The emphasis on responsible tourism in these protected areas is crucial for safeguarding visitor safety and health. […] The post Costa Rica’s Guide for Responsible Tourism This Season appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

As we approach the peak of the tourist season, Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) has released detailed guidelines to ensure that both national and international visitors can enjoy and protect the country’s natural wonders responsibly. The emphasis on responsible tourism in these protected areas is crucial for safeguarding visitor safety and health. This initiative not only improves the quality of tours but also fosters an environment conducive to biodiversity observation, recreational activities, and environmental education. Franz Tattenbach, the Minister of Environment, stresses the importance of joint efforts by the government, local communities, and tourists in upholding responsible tourism practices. He points out the challenges SINAC faces in curbing unauthorized activities in National Parks, highlighting the risks these activities pose to individuals. For a safe and mindful visit, SINAC advises visitors to thoroughly inform themselves about their destination. “Using official sources is vital to get accurate, current information about the specific Protected Area you are visiting,” say SINAC officials. Proper preparation, including suitable clothing, keeping hydrated, medications, and other essentials, is essential. Tourists are encouraged to avoid single-use plastics and ensure their tour operators or guides have the necessary ICT certifications and/or permits. Visitors should use only the official entrances, which are clearly marked and have set hours. It’s important to heed the advice of park rangers and follow the signs within the parks. Staying within designated areas and on marked trails is mandatory, and straying off these paths is discouraged. Interactions with wildlife should be cautious, and tourists are advised against touching, capturing, or feeding animals. In case of encountering an injured or sick animal, visitors should not intervene but rather inform a park ranger immediately. The importance of group safety is also underscored, with a recommendation to stay together and not separate from the group. These comprehensive guidelines are aimed not just at enhancing visitor experiences but also at contributing to the preservation and protection of Costa Rica’s unique and delicate ecosystems. The post Costa Rica’s Guide for Responsible Tourism This Season appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

As Mexico Marks Conservation Day, Advocates Say It Takes Too Long to List Vulnerable Species

Mexico is celebrating national conservation day

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Residents of Mexico's Caribbean reef island of Banco Chinchorro near Belize have hunted the meat and salmon-pink shells of queen conch for generations. As populations have shrunk in recent decades, Mexico has enforced limits and bans on catching the shellfish.The species has continued to decline despite these measures, which included a blanket five-year ban on catches in 2012. Still, the queen conch is one of many vulnerable species not included on Mexico's national endangered species list. As Mexico’s environment agency celebrates the country’s biodiversity during Thursday's national conservation day, conservationists say the government’s own registry for endangered species is too short and too slow to update.Despite a legal requirement to review and update the list at least every three years, there have been no updates since August 2019. In the meantime, species like the queen conch have lacked federal environmental protection and moved steadily toward extinction. The Mexican environment department did not respond to emails and text messages asking why there had not been any updates to the list since 2019.Officials accept proposals to list species only during set periods for public comment. That system is opaque and slow, said Alejandro Olivera, a marine biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity.“We shouldn’t have to wait until the government requests for new listings, because species can go extinct or populations can recover from one year to another,” Olivera said from La Paz, on the Gulf of California. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, by comparison, accepts submissions on a rolling basis, and has to make an initial response within 90 days. It's still not perfect, Olivera said, but better than a system of submission windows.“Even if you have the hard data, the scientific information to prove that one species is really endangered, the process is not open," Olivera said. "You can’t submit the proposal just out of the blue.”The Mexican government most recently opened a comment window in April 2021, when the Center for Biological Diversity submitted a proposal to list the queen conch, but the group never heard back.One of the experts convened to adjudicate those proposals was Angélica Cervantes Maldonado, a plant biology professor at Mexico's National Autonomous University. She acknowledged that it has taken much longer than the mandated three-year period to update the list. “I know the situation of species is complicated and can deteriorate very quickly, but unfortunately here the regulatory process is much slower,” she said, adding that the department expects to publish updates around April. Mexico's current list was written into law in 2010, and has been updated three times since then, once to make it shorter. While some species like the queen conch aren’t federally protected at all, many more are listed but with a far lesser degree of danger than the science suggests, said Olivera.The population of elkhorn coral, for example, another Caribbean species, with large, ochre branches growing six feet tall, has declined 97% over the past four decades, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, lists elkhorn coral as critically endangered, the last step before extinction. Meanwhile elkhorn coral has the lowest level of endangerment on Mexico’s list, despite scientists' requests to review its classification for at least five years.Compared to the IUCN, last updated in 2022, the Mexican government lists 250 fewer species as needing some kind of protection, and most fall under the lowest risk category. In particular, Mexico lists 535 species as endangered, its worst risk rating, whereas IUCN lists nearly 1,500 species in Mexico as either endangered or critically endangered.If a species is included on Mexico’s list in any category, all commercial uses of that species are banned. Higher categories come with greater restrictions, fines and the potential for criminal prosecution. The list also impacts other permitting and pollution regulations, restricting development in areas where listed species are known to live in some cases.The IUCN says Mexico ranks third in the word for the number of endangered species after Ecuador and Madagascar. Other Latin American nations also have struggled to square ponderous regulatory procedures with rapidly changing numbers of endangered species.In 2014, Brazil passed legislation requiring its listings to be revised every year, but since then there has only been one update, said Rodrigo Jorge, a biologist with the government’s environment department.To expedite the process, Jorge’s team launched an online database of endangered species this August called Salve, which can be updated on a rolling basis. Not every species needs to be studied every year, he said, but it is important that there is a regular opportunity to assess the list and make changes.With Salve's help Jorge says Brazil's list, last revised in 2022, will be updated again next year, the fastest turnaround since the country began categorizing endangered species.For now, however, no species can be declared “threatened” without going through the official, slower regulatory process, and the listings on Salve do not come with regulatory obligations themselves, instead relying on the “goodwill” of companies, Jorge said.In the build-up to Thursday's national conservation day, the Mexican government took to social media to promote its plan to save the vaquita porpoise, a long-time victim of bycatch fishing. In what it called “an exercise of unprecedented transparency” in September, the department sent delegates to a UNESCO meeting in Saudi Arabia to report on progress protecting the vaquita.Olivera says the government “tells lies or half-truths" and that vaquita populations have continued to decline. “They claim success but... the only way to measure the success of the vaquitas is when we have more vaquitas.”Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A beach in Manhattan? Two years and $73 million later, sure (but no swimming allowed)

Gansevoort Peninsula, the first public beach in Manhattan, is open on an old landfill site along the Hudson River. It's no California beach, or even a Hamptons beach, but something uniquely New York City.

NEW YORK —  Dede Freeman and her daughter lounged in two blue Adirondack chairs on the beach under an umbrella as a copy of Nancy Allen’s “Renegade” blew open in the wind on the boardwalk nearby. Waves crashed against the tiered steps, children wearing coats built sandcastles, and one woman took off her Chelsea boots and dug her bare feet into the sand.Freeman sat facing the skyline, each building rising up like children’s hands in a classroom. She sent a photo to her sister in Rancho Palos Verdes, who was puzzled by the sight.“She’s like, ‘Where is a beach in Manhattan?’” said Freeman, who was in New York visiting her daughter, Erin.The answer is on an old landfill, jutting out into the Hudson River.Yes, a mere 2,800 miles away from the sun-drenched Manhattan Beach you know and love is an entirely different Manhattan beach, a first for this island smothered in asphalt, choked with skyscrapers and home to 1.6 million people.Gansevoort Peninsula, a 5.5-acre park between Gansevoort Street and Little West 12th Street in the Meatpacking District, opened last month. What was once a landfill is now home to a large sports field, an ecological salt marsh, a dog run, a boardwalk, manicured lawns and Manhattan’s first public beach.OK, so the beach is more of an elevated sandy bluff. And there’s no swimming. Or parking. (Though there is a launching point for kayaks and canoes.)“It’s not a California beach in the city, it’s not a Hamptons beach in the city, it’s not the Jersey Shore in the city,” said Noreen Doyle, president and chief executive of the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees the park and its development. “It’s a really great sandy area.” It’s no Manhattan Beach, but Gansevoort Peninsula on the Hudson River offers a public beach, a sports field and a beachfront landing for non-motorized boats. (Luiz C. Ribeiro / Getty Images) Decades ago, the western edge of Manhattan was a riverside strip of piers that had aged into retirement in a post-industrial New York. But a 1998 law helped create Hudson River Park, a constellation of public and green spaces four miles long — from Battery Park City to West 59th Street in Hell’s Kitchen — including dog runs, playgrounds, sports complexes, restaurants and entertainment venues connected by a manicured promenade. The Gansevoort Peninsula presented a unique opportunity: It’s a landfill, not a pier supported by piles, as all the other structures are. “We could do things on that area differently,” Doyle said.Like build a beach, which was part of the original vision for rehabilitating the area.Field Operations, the firm behind Tongva Park in Santa Monica, spearheaded the project, which took about two years to complete and cost $73 million. The site had to be demolished and cleared, and the New York City Department of Sanitation, the peninsula’s former tenant, had to relocate. Because the Hudson River is regulated, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were required to greenlight construction plans.Building the beach had its own challenges separate from building the overall park.“When you think of the beach, you conjure up this notion of water touching sand, and being able to step off the sand directly into the water,” said Sanjukta Sen, who led Field Operations’ design and project team. “We quickly found that that’s not really a possibility.”Some of the construction aspects for the beach were untested. The Hudson’s currents are strong, and ferries and other ships create even more turbulence. Designing a beach where the sand would hold required engineering.The result is a 13,500-square-foot beach that’s “perched up,” Sen said. It’s not always touching water, but it still delivers beachy vibes, and the sand won’t regularly wash away.New York, like many cities, is also experiencing more severe weather, with stronger winds and flash flooding, presenting another test for the human-made beach. Leading up to the peninsula’s inauguration, Tropical Storm Ophelia brought New York to a halt — but the beach was “bone dry” opening day, Sen said. (The site has interior drainage.)“In some ways, this will be a bit of an ongoing experiment to see how this behaves in terms of the stress tests of different weather conditions,” Sen said. “We haven’t seen the full spectrum of it yet. It’s so new.”Officials brought in 1,200 tons of sand — Doyle described it as “pristine, new, not-used-for-recreation-before-sand” — shipped in from a quarry in New Jersey. (One child with fistfuls of the stuff was unconvinced: “It’s not real!” she cried endlessly.)Taking up just a part of the overall park, the beach was kept small, in part, to maintain the sensory ties to the river: sitting in the middle of a flat, 5.5-acre sandbox, “you wouldn’t see and hear the water,” the way the current design allows, Doyle said. There’s also the fact that New York real estate is precious, and New Yorkers have plenty of ideas of how spaces should be used.Mateo Sancho said he was disappointed when he first saw how compact the beach was. But then stepping onto the sand, settling into a chair and catching up with an old friend — the “sensation is very different.”“New York has been working on spaces that can feel like a day trip,” Sancho, 40, said. “This works in that sense.”That same Friday that Dede Freeman had shocked her sister by texting her a photo of a beach in Manhattan — a beach in Manhattan! — Dan Hammerling, a longtime Florida transplant, took his friend Bob Ferruci, a lifelong New Yorker. The octogenerians were on their way to lunch when Hammerling suggested they stop at the beach — “Bob didn’t believe me!” Hammerling joked. Behind them was Little Island, a park at Pier 55 that Hammerling said resembles “concrete mushrooms” rising out of the Hudson River. That, he said, is more unusual than a beach in Manhattan.

Gold mining in the Overberg: fears relieved for now

Mining company has not met the first deadline for an Environmental Impact Assessment The post Gold mining in the Overberg: fears relieved for now appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.

Farmers, conservationists and winemakers in the Overberg, Western Cape, have won at least a temporary reprieve in their battle to prevent what they see as the possibility of a vast open-cast gold mine being carved into their rolling hills. About six months ago a company called Cienth filed an application to prospect for gold and other metals in the Overberg, Western Cape. The application outraged local farmers and winemakers who feared a massive open-cast mine in this important agricultural region. However the company has not met its first deadline for an Environmental Impact Assessment, and its application has as a result lapsed. However, this has happened before and Cienth may try again. About six months ago, a shell company called Cienth, which has a single director appointed in April this year, filed its first application for a prospecting licence to look for gold, silver and tin in an area of 4,200ha, about 15km from Napier village. Residents of the area were outraged, saying that if the project graduated from prospecting to actual mining, livelihoods would be destroyed, groundwater would be contaminated and endangered renosterveld – including important wetlands –would be devastated. But this week the environmental consultant hired by Cienth to conduct the environmental impact assessment (EIA), McDonald Mdluli of Lwethuma Environmental Consultants, said the company had suspended the application. “It’s been put on hold,” Mdluli told GroundUp. “The applicant is not proceeding with it. So all the processes have ceased now. … If they decide to revive the application, they will have to relaunch with the DMRE, and the whole process will have to start afresh.” He said Rosy Mvala, sole director of Cienth, had made the decision “not very long ago”. Asked if Mvala had given him reasons, Mdluli said one of the main problems was that he had not had enough time to meet the first deadline in the EIA process, which is on 23 November. Cienth had only appointed Lwethuma some time after it lodged its second application for a permit with the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy (DMRE). “On our side, we just got appointed, there was a lot of work to be done … The application had already been lodged, so the timeframe was a bit compromised. That was one of the many reasons.” But Elsaine Rabie, an environmental lawyer hired by the Napier Farmers Association to advise them, said she feared Cienth would lodge a fresh application sooner or later. “[Mdluli] confirmed, telephonically, that they are in the process of withdrawing the matter but … it must be done formally,” she said. “So I assume they are just waiting for the timeline to lapse.” This is what happened with Cienth’s first prospecting application, which involved a different environmental consultant. Under the regulations governing such applications, Lwethuma would have had to file a final basic assessment report (DBAR) by 23 November and failure to do so would automatically abort the application. The process might be on hold, Rabie said, “but they will submit a new application. This is the second application already. This is going to be a very lengthy battle.” She said none of the interested and affected parties had received plans, diagrams, a prospecting works programme, or specialist reports, so they had nothing on which to comment for the DMRE. Mdluli said he had received no instructions from Mvala about lodging a new application, and if she did decide to do so, she would not be compelled to use Lwethuma again. Secrecy The central mystery in the saga is who is backing Mvala and Cienth, and why they want to look for gold in an area where it seems highly unlikely to be found. According to company records, Mvala, who is only 29 years old, is the director of 90 companies and is based in Kimberley. She is listed as having been appointed a director of all but three of the companies in 2023. Mvala and her geological consultants, Minrom, led by CEO Oscar van Antwerpen, have wrapped a shroud of secrecy around the Overberg prospecting bid. Messages left for Mvala and her predecessor as Cienth director, David Silver, at the shell company’s registered premises — an apartment in Sandton — drew no response. Asked for his views and comments on the project, Van Antwerpen said by email: “We cannot answer that at this stage.” Van Antwerpen, who lists his previous employers as including Northam Platinum and Billiton, was quoted by Engineering News as saying, in a profile piece earlier this year, that the person he most wanted to meet was Sadhguru — an Indian mystic who runs self-improvement programmes. The only substantive contact Overberg residents have had with Van Antwerpen and Mvala was at a meeting that Cienth and Minrom held with officials of the Cape Agulhas Municipality (CAM) in Bredasdorp in September — and that was only because CAM invited representatives of the farmers’ association to attend. “The applicant and Minrom felt a bit ambushed,” said Rabie, who attended the gathering. “It got very heated. It was hectic.” Wynand Wessels, chair of the farmers’ association, was also there. “Oscar was the hell in for Raymond Ross [a local DA councillor] that he had allowed us to attend,” he said. Wessels said Mvala made a prepared speech at the meeting, but once other attendees started asking her questions, she was immediately out of her depth. “Oscar answered the questions instead. He was very condescending, as though we didn’t know what we were talking about.” Wessels told GroundUp that since September the farmers’ association had not been able to contact Mvala. “It’s their strategy not to answer emails or phone calls, she has disappeared like mist before the sun.” He said the threat of prospecting would not go away soon. “Nothing stops them from just lodging a new application.” One journalist attended the Bredasdorp meeting in September, from the local newspaper Suidernuus, and according to a recording she made, Van Antwerpen said at one stage: “The more you write about this in the newspaper, the more you make people attentive of what is going on. That’s why I ask you to hold back on newspaper articles. I’m giving you a hint, I’m being friendly. Stop writing about it in the newspaper because you’re going to cause a gold rush.” A source in the municipality also told GroundUp that Mvala had said she did not want publicity because it would alert rival companies to the possibility of gold in the area, and they would launch their own prospecting bids. “Smoke and mirrors” But that was absurd, said a local geologist and veteran of the gold mining industry who asked not to be named. He told GroundUp there was no reason to think there was gold in the Overberg, and Cienth would struggle to persuade investors to put any money into the project. “I don’t know what evidence these people [Van Antwerpen and Mvala] have, but I can’t see it. “I do mineral prospecting in central Africa, I know what to look for. Always where there is copper, gold, tin, there’s lots of evidence. Prospectors doing shafts, adits, over time. Now we come to the Overberg where nobody has done anything. Surely that tells you there’s actually nothing to be found.” He said in 1996 he had personally taken samples from an adit — a near-horizontal mine shaft — that was dug in the 1880s on a farm near Napier in the hope of finding gold. “I took a few samples and they were all negative. You would expect that if there was any potential, the adit would have shown something, but it didn’t show anything, so I thought it’s just an early scam. And I thought nothing of it until suddenly this whole new noise comes about this prospecting application.” He said he expected the prospecting plan would come to nothing. “I suspect the secrecy is smoke and mirrors, because there’s not a lot behind it. That’s probably more the reason, that they haven’t got funding … In global exploration there’s not huge pots of money willing to bet. This is like a 10,000-to-one outsider, people are not going to put money into it. “There’s obviously some sort of dodgy sort of speculative stuff behind it, so part of the thing is to create secrecy because the reality is pretty depressing.” Locals plan to fight mining interests A wine maker from the area, Jack Bruce, is more pessimistic — he cites statistics that nearly 90% of exploration licences result in mining licences and says that because gold grades in the area are so low, a huge open-cast mine of about 300ha would be needed to make the deposit pay. “The likelihood is it’s going to be humongous, probably the biggest open-cast mine in the Western Cape bar the West Coast sand mines,” Bruce said. Bruce is a member of the Agulhas Wine Triangle, a group linking wine-makers in the region include Zoetendal, Strandveld Wines and Black Oystercatcher, among others. The wine group has joined the Napier Farmers’ Association and the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust in moves to form an anti-exploration alliance with a legal structure, so they can raise funds to fight what they fear will be prolonged legal battles. “Who wants to taste wine next to a mine?” says Andre Morgenthal, project manager for the wine triangle group. But the geologist GroundUp spoke to says there’s no potential for a large-scale mine. “I’ve got no idea what gives [Minrom and Cienth] grounds for optimism.” “It’s all part of the Cape Fold belt, the age of the rocks is about 400 million years and you think, ‘Wow that’s old,’ but you look at the Witwatersrand and that’s almost three billion years old. Gold deposits are mostly found in far older rocks. ALSO READ: Here’s how government could slash fuel prices in SA … but doesn’t “It’s really hard to raise money for exploration these days, even despite the high price of gold. In this case … the whole venture will slowly die,” he said. “They’ll have to find something pretty bloody amazing to justify it going forward, they’ll have to find the new Klondike [a big gold rush in North America].” Published originally on Groundup | Anton Ferreira The post Gold mining in the Overberg: fears relieved for now appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.

Cuts mean Scotland will not meet environment targets, say charities

Group of 16 organisations says reduced funding means rewilding and conservation targets likely to be missedScotland will fail to meet its ambitious rewilding and conservation targets unless it reverses deep cuts in funding for the environment, leading charities have said.Nature and conservation funding in Scotland has been cut by tens of millions of pounds over the last decade, with ministers diverting the money to other policy areas, according to a group of 16 influential environment charities.Nearly 60% of Scotland’s legally protected sites of special scientific interest – the most precious in the country – have not been assessed in more than a decade, with only 65% in favourable condition.Only half of the sites which make up Scotland’s “Atlantic rainforest” are in favourable condition.Scottish government funding for nature fell from 0.55% of its total budget to 0.25% between 2010/11 and 2022/23.Sepa’s budget cuts have made it heavily reliant on so-called “cost recovery” fees it charges to inspect private companies but those fees have not kept pace with inflation, falling by 14% in real terms. Continue reading...

Scotland will fail to meet its ambitious rewilding and conservation targets unless it reverses deep cuts in funding for the environment, leading charities have said.Nature and conservation funding in Scotland has been cut by tens of millions of pounds over the last decade, with ministers diverting the money to other policy areas, according to a group of 16 influential environment charities.That “significant erosion” in spending meant that core funding for NatureScot, the conservation agency, had fallen by 40% in real terms. Funding for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), which investigates pollution and protects water quality, had fallen by 26%.The cuts raise profound questions for the Scottish government about its ability to meet increasingly urgent nature and climate targets, which are likely to cost billions of pounds to achieve, the charities say.The group, which includes the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the John Muir Trust, Trees for Life, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Buglife and Plantlife, have urged the Scottish government to increase environment spending at its next budget, later in December.The programmes affected, they say, include a pledge made by Scottish ministers after an international biodiversity summit to protect 30% of nature by 2030, a target underpinned by the convention on biological diversity agreed in Montreal last December.In a joint letter coordinated by Scottish Environment Link, an umbrella group of nature and conservation groups, the signatories said: “The Scottish government is rightly committed to setting ambitious targets for environmental action.“But as the impacts of climate change and nature loss become more strongly felt, simply maintaining current environmental standards will become harder. The longer we do not act, the more expensive and less palatable it will become.”The signatories said the cuts have meant:skip past newsletter promotionThe planet's most important stories. Get all the week's environment news - the good, the bad and the essentialPrivacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.after newsletter promotionSignatories to the letter report that at a recent meeting with Sepa they were told the agency now does the bare minimum of chemicals monitoring, including those of significant concern such as synthetic compounds known as PFAS, plastics and pesticides.Sepa’s financial woes have been exacerbated by a significant cyber-attack in December 2020, which forced the agency to suspend many of its operations. Data on thousands of environment checks, farm inspection records and water quality reports were lost.NatureScot has acknowledged there is a multi-billion pound shortfall in the amount of money available for its policy priorities, including restoring badly degraded peatland and meeting the new Scottish biodiversity strategy targets, so is hoping to attract significant private sector funding.In response to the letter, Sepa said it was designing new approaches to its water testing and pollution operations, and expanding its work in those areas. It also collaborated with sister agencies and industry bodies across the UK on chemicals and pollution.The Scottish government said other agencies, such as Forestry and Land Scotland, and crown estate Scotland, were working in similar areas, while NatureScot and Sepa had been allowed to increase their fees to boost income. Ministers have also pledged £500m to promote nature restoration over five years.A spokesperson said the last budget increased year-on-year funding for NatureScot and Sepa by £18m “recognising the pivotal role they play to protect, restore and value nature, and maintain a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for the people of Scotland”.

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