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Environment - Take the pledge

Scotland's unique ecosystems, which are home to 90,000 different species, will be celebrated during the International Year of Biodiversity.

The United Nations-led celebration aims to involve individuals and organisations in a wide range of activities, many of which will be suitable for schools. "I'd like to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the wonderful nature in Scotland, and take the IYB pledge to `do one thing' to help biodiversity," said Andrew Thin, chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage.

These might include protecting the endangered British dormouse, building a "bug hotel", wildlife surveys, making a garden bee-friendly, buying seasonal food or planting window boxes.

Glow, the Scottish schools' intranet, will set up a Glow Meet in the John Hope Gateway, at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, allowing schools around the country to quiz experts on a range of subjects.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said the natural environment was worth over pound;17 billion to the Scottish economy, and supported more than 240,000 jobs.

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