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Scotland needs better wildlife laws

Jun 05, 2003

Nature conservation laws in Scotland should be given a major overhaul in changes proposed by the Scottish Executive.

Environmental law experts have welcomed the Executive’s proposals for new legislation but say they miss out on a “once in a generation” opportunity to put nature conservation in Scotland on a sound legal footing.

The Scottish Executive is consulting on draft legislation to conserve and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage (1). Changes to habitat and species protection and wildlife crime are proposed and legislation expected in the autumn.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to restate the whole of the law on nature conservation in a single, coherent set of provisions and achieve effective and accessible legislation”, says Professor Colin Reid of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) (2).

UKELA (3) is particularly concerned that habitat management measures, which play a major role in helping landowners and managers and nature conservationists work together effectively, are covered by three previous Acts of Parliament as well as the new draft. “It would be much better if such important provisions, or a recasting of them were consolidated in the Bill”, said Professor Reid.

UKELA is also calling for changes in legislation for the Scottish Land Court, to ensure it is best able to represent all those interested in land management disputes.

Notes to the editors:

Notes to editors:
1. The Scottish Executive’s consultation closes on June 6th.
2. Professor Colin Reid is Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Dundee and author of “Nature Conservation Law”
3. UKELA is the UK forum, which aims to make the law work for a better environment and to improve understanding and awareness of environmental law. UKELA’s members are involved in the practice, study or formulation of Environmental Law in the UK and the European Union. It attracts both lawyers and non lawyers and has a broad membership.

Contacts:
Professor Colin Reid 01382 344461
Vicki Elcoate 01306 501320

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
Registered charity 299498; company registered in England number 2133283
Registered office: One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX


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