A Grangemouth wildlife centre was the venue for the launch of a new plan to conserve nature in the 21st Century.
The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, which sets out how the Scottish Government will care for the natural environment over the next eight years, was unveiled at the Jupiter Wildlife Centre recently by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald was also there to welcome the plan along with pupils from Grangemouth’s Sacred Heart Primary School.
The ultimate aim of the strategy is for Scotland to be recognised as a world leader in biodiversity by 2030.
Mr MacDonald said: “This is an exciting opportunity to progress an ambitious vision for Scotland.
“Part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Jupiter centre is well placed to assist in achieving the aims of the strategy and encourage interest in wildlife and the environment to people of all ages.
“The strategy sets out a number of new directions for nature conservation in Scotland and builds on what has worked well in the past as we have seen here at Jupiter.”
The plan aims to increase the general level of biodiversity and support healthy ecosystems as well as engage people with the natural world and give them a say in environmental decisions.
During the launch, the MSP met volunteers who had gained valuable employment skills at Jupiter and also joined schoolchildren for a pond-dipping session.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “The Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is an oasis in the middle of industrial Scotland where wildlife can flourish and people can improve their physical and mental health.
“Children can learn about the world around them and adults can gain new skills to help secure employment.
“It is all of these things that are at the heart of the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity,
“Nature can do a huge amount for us all and we, in turn, can do far more for nature.”