Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has today (15 March) published a report into local environmental quality standards across Scotland, which suggests the country is now seeing “deterioration in key indicators” such as littering and Fly-tipping.
The charity is calling for urgent action to stop the deterioration of local environmental quality standards through national leadership, with a more strategic, integrated and coordinated approach.
“Environmental quality needs priority attention. The evidence outlined in this report suggests that with political will, leadership and shared strategic action, we can reverse the deterioration and make sure that action to improve the environmental quality of Scotland really is prioritised”
The report, “Scotland’s local environmental quality in decline”, suggests that “against all these indicators, the environmental quality of Scotland is deteriorating. The consequences of this decline, which first started around 2012/2013, are far-reaching due to the effects on individual health and wellbeing as well as local and national prosperity.”
It highlights the need for greater strategic priority as the current approach to the problem “is rather fragmented and not sufficiently coordinated.”
It also highlights the difference between the strategic priority given to local environmental quality and the high level of importance attributed to clean and green places by people across Scotland.
The report’s authors state: “we think that local environmental quality would merit strategic consideration from a political perspective, as the collective goodwill exists across a wide range of stakeholders to get behind coordinated action.”
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of environment charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “This is an important report in the long history of action to improve Scotland’s environment. In a country where we owe so much of our economy to attracting visitors from across the globe, and where civic and social justice are so important to our national sense of wellbeing – this report makes it clear that we can no longer stand by and watch whilst standards are clearly starting to decline.
“We can now confirm that overall deterioration has begun, and the trend will be firmly downward unless remedial strategic action is taken quickly. We all have a part to play, in changing the behaviour of those in our society who act irresponsibly and create the problem, and in supporting the national effort that is required to make a real difference across the length and breadth of Scotland. However, we are calling for an overarching plan, which involves the public and private sectors, along with communities, to maximise the results of that effort.
“Environmental quality needs priority attention. The evidence outlined in this report suggests that with political will, leadership and shared strategic action, we can reverse the deterioration and make sure that action to improve the environmental quality of Scotland really is prioritised.
“The time to act is now.”