Under consideration PE2100: Ministerial guidance to clarify the criteria for assessing licence applications under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to produce guidance under Section 54 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 to clarify the criteria for consideration of “no other satisfactory solution” in relation to licensing and to include the sustainable cultural use of natural resources under Section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Previous action taken

I've spent 15 years researching this subject and annually, for the last 12 years, provide more and more evidence to NatureScot on how case law, government policy and responsibilities to international convention support my applications for sustainable cultural use of a natural resource. NatureScot don't address my evidence in their license refusals, which appears to ignore their balancing duties, but focus solely on what they believe to be "no other satisfactory solution". They appear reluctant to discuss the evidence I submit with me and have lately refused my requests for meetings. I've had two of my MSPs involved in trying to bring about a solution, which hasn't improved the situation. NatureScot cut off communications under their unacceptable behaviour policy when I persist in getting issues addressed when they have a statutory duty to address issues related to their functions under the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991.

Background information

For 12 years I've applied for licenses that support sustainable cultural use of natural resources which also benefits conservation and yet NatureScot's refusals direct me to use non-native species, which they believe is another "satisfactory solution". I don't understand how their decisions are proportional or how they apply consideration of "no other satisfactory solution". Their actions contradict their published guidance but they ignore my requests for clarification.

When the Government Minister informed the Scottish Natural Heritage CEO of their new code of practice in 2015 he stated the code "requires regulators to take a risk-based enabling approach, communicate clearly and effectively, and understand who they regulate." This is not my experience and I feel there are hidden agendas. This has left me, part of a cultural minority, feeling discriminated against to the point of persecution. The present situation is also contrary to judgement of the European Court of Justice (C-339/87) on transposition of EU Directives into national law.

  • Created by Gary Wall
  • Considered from 14 May 2024
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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