AFTER decades of inaction, it's clear that we have let nature spiral into a catastrophic decline.

Industrial development and farming, overfishing, habitat loss and climate change are all accelerating the decline of nature at a rate that is unprecedented in the history of life on earth.

Here in Scotland we are no exception. Scotland has unique and world-renowned landscapes and wildlife, yet large parts of our natural environment are heavily degraded and wildlife is in decline just as it is across the world.

According to WWF Scotland, one in nine of our native species are already at risk of extinction, including the Scottish wildcat, mountain hare, beaver and red squirrel.

Our seabirds in particular are currently being decimated due to the twin pressures of climate change and bird flu.

Every Government has a role in protecting our planet from this disastrous outcome, there are simply no more chances.

With Greens in Government, we're taking this seriously. We know a transformative approach is needed to halt nature loss by 2030 and reverse it completely by 2045.

We're investing over £500m in preserving and improving Scotland's natural environment, including delivering the Nature Restoration Fund – which will grant cash to local authorities and local projects working to combat the nature emergency.

We've also set an ambitious target for native woodland restoration which has already been met this year despite the challenges of Storm Arwen. Over 4,000 hectares have been restored this year alone.

And just last week, my colleague and minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity launched the consultation on Scotland's next biodiversity strategy.

This strategy will set the path Scotland needs to take to tackle the nature emergency.

It's about how we can ensure that we protect the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and interactions, and combat the climate emergency.

The last strategy was published in 2004; now's the time for radical change – there's no time to waste.

It takes a whole of society approach to protect nature – and that's why we need as many people as possible to get involved in the consultation and help us shape a better, greener future for Scotland.

To do so, visit

Local authorities have a critical role to play in standing up for nature – and here in Clacks, our newly elected Councillor Bryan Quinn is wasting no time in getting to work. Just last week, the Council agreed to Bryan's proposal to create a pollinator strategy and review the council's own biodiversity plan.

The health of our planet affects us all. When we look after the world around us, it takes care of us back. Biodiversity isn't just a buzzword – it's what we need for clean water, clean air, healthy soil, locally grown sustainable food and a sustainable economy.

In the words of Professor David Macdonald, at Oxford University: "Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity."

Nature needs us, and we need nature to survive. We need to think globally but urgently act locally and time is running out.