Date lodged: 22 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how much of the funding to maintain or improve the condition of protected areas comes from the Scottish Rural Development Programme.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 7 March 2017
Under the 2007-2013 Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), funding for protected areas, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Natura sites, was delivered under the Rural Priorities scheme. Additional funding for protected areas was provided through Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Management Agreements. Of a total of £43.4m of funding commitments for protected areas entered into during 2007-13, £39.4m (91%) was committed through SRDP and £4.0m (9%) was committed under SNH Management Agreements.
Under the 2014-2020 SRDP, funding for protected areas is provided through the Agri-Environment-Climate Scheme (AECS). Additional funding continues to be provided through SNH Management Agreements. Following two AECS funding rounds in 2015 and 2016, a total of £24.5m has been committed to maintain or improve the condition of protected areas. Of this total, £23.5m (96%) has been committed through SRDP and £1.0m (4%) through SNH Management Agreements. Additional funding for protected areas will be committed during the remainder of the 2014-2020 SRDP and through further SNH Management Agreements.
The figures provided on funding commitments for SNH Management Agreements exclude expenditure on additional works agreed during the course of contracts.