Page last updated at 01:18 GMT, Friday, 18 January 2013

MSP Rob Gibson leads a debate on biodiversity.

Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee convener Rob Gibson led a debate on biodiversity on 17 January 2013.

Mr Gibson told MSPs the committee would be analysing the Scottish government's consultation on the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity against a back drop of world failure on biodiversity targets and with "biodiversity in decline".

According to the government: "Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth.

"It is essential for sustaining the natural living systems and ecosystems that provide us with food, fuel, health, wealth, and other vital services.

"We are all part of this biodiversity too and have the power to protect or destroy it."

A consultation was launched on the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity, following the failure of Scotland to meet its 2010 biodiversity targets.

This 2020 Challenge was Scotland's response to the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2020 and the 'Aichi Targets' set by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

These call for a step change in efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and restore the essential services that a healthy natural environment provides.

The 2020 Challenge aims to:

• increase the general level of biodiversity on land and in our seas, and support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems;

• engage people with the natural world, for the health and well-being benefits that this brings, and empower them to have a say in decisions about their environment;

• maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth.

'Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands' was published in 2004 by the Scottish government and set out how it would conserve biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and wellbeing of the people of Scotland now and in the future.

The second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Biodiversity debate 2

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