Date lodged: 1 June 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has carried out or plans of the impact of the marine protected area network on (a) the maintenance and recovery of overall marine ecosystem health and (b) climate change resilience.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 6 June 2017
Marine Scotland is currently developing an MPA monitoring strategy that will ensure the necessary information is collected from the MPA network to underpin assessment and reporting obligations. The data collected from implementing this strategy together with continued monitoring of the environmental status of Scotland’s Seas, will allow us to assess impacts on marine ecosystem health. However, it will take several years to collect sufficient data to make a valid assessment.
In February 2017 Scottish Natural Heritage published a report on blue carbon that estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland’s inshore MPA network is equivalent to four years of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The report can be found here: http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=2453. We are currently considering further opportunities to expand this valuable and remarkable research to better understand the role and significance of blue carbon in climate change resilience.