Current EU environmental principles should be formally translated into domestic law after Brexit, according to Scottish Land & Estates.
Responding to a Scottish Government consultation on environmental principles and governance, the rural business organisation said adopting the principles would ensure Scotland kept pace with international best practice.
Karen Ramoo, Policy Adviser (Access, Conservation & Wildlife Management) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Around 80% of domestic environmental law in Scotland is derived from EU law and policy and it is important that we do not start to slip behind international standards because we have exited the European Union.
"Land-based businesses have been playing a huge role in efforts to meet current environmental targets and this progress should be maintained.
“The EU has four enshrined principles which underpin policy development and we agree with the Scottish Government that we should adopt these principles domestically.
"This will mean that any future Scottish legislation has to adhere to those standards moving forward.
“We also need to ensure that monitoring, reviewing and reporting functions to serve environmental law are not lost.
"These tasks are currently undertaken at an EU level and consideration needs to be given to establishing a domestic governance mechanism and what funding will be available to support that.
“When governments fail to meet their environmental obligations currently, this can be dealt with through the Commission, European Court of Justice and other EU bodies.
"It is likely that a new body will be required to fulfil this role that is independent of government, has relevant expertise and enjoys sufficient legal powers to enforce the law and hold Government to account.”