Scotland: Campaigning for new National Parks
There is an intense campaign in Scotland for the creation of new National Parks. Last week, the campaign reached the Scottish Parliament with an event entitled “Unfinished Business – More National Parks for Scotland”. Campaigners are showing the case for the establishment of 7 new national parks, to join the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, and The Cairngorms, the only National Parks in Scotland.
An exhibition welcomed participants at the Parliament and three Scottish specialists on Protected Areas were invited to share their view. Carol Ritchie, EUROPARC Director, was one of the invited speakers, along with Sir Alex Fergusson and Ross Anderson. Together, they have shown the economic, environmental and social benefits that new National Parks would bring to the country. Read more about the event here and read EUROPARC’s vision below.
The campaign is led by the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland and the event was sponsored Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries.
EUROPARC supports the creation of new National Parks in Scotland and wishes a very successful campaign.
The National Parks of Scotland can and should celebrate our guardianship of our cultural and natural assets.
Over history, the way we perceive our landscapes has changed, and indeed our national parks as part of that landscape has also changed over time.
National Parks ARE and CAN BE part of delivering that sustainable development AS long as we truly mean. Sustainable development and no sustaining development.
The creation of national parks in Scotland NOW and in the FUTURE is not about creating museums of nature, but laboratories of living working landscapes. They should be allowed to innovate and experiment and grow, for the benefits of the wider countryside and for all of society in Scotland.
EUROPARC believes that … Appreciating the value of Nature is the first act towards creating a sustainable world. Off course we want a sustainable Scotland. Appreciating, understanding and valuing are important but CARING enough to conserve our natural resource is a necessity for our society.
The real challenge of National Parks now and in the future is not just the external factors of climate change and biodiversity loss. Of financial insecurity and political instability or inactivity. The challenge is not just to shift budgets… but thinking and approach.
Not only do we need to change how we manage our landscape, but we need to change the landscape of the mind.
- Adopt innovative, forward thinking, outward looking inclusive approach– partnership working with communities, public sector, business, academia.
- Examine the Culture of the organisation, remain Relevant
- Be the nature reserve, health centre, spiritual retreat, sports facility, ecosystem services “factory”, cultural repository, iconic landscape, national identity. = Be the NATIONAL park.
- Embrace Sustainability – Scotland’s National Parks need to be models for nature conservation, sustainable natural resource use benefiting society and maintaining our cultural heritage and rural livelihoods
- Continue to engender sense of Protected Area community across Common Goals: Shared Vision, encourage exchange of ideas, network.
- Make it REAL. BE Authentic!
- Network – with EUROPARC. Learn from others!
excerpts from Carol Ritchie’s speech