SEW 2017: Environmental Futures
Scottish Environment Week is over for this year but read on to find out more about the exciting events delivered by LINK and our member organisations. The 2017 theme was Environmental Futures to highlight how we want Scotland to take sustainable actions now to safeguard the future of all who share this country. The Week highlighted how sustainable planning, education, science and art, all have a valuable role to play.
‘Picture This’ Poster Exhibition
Fantastic poster designs were on display in the Garden Lobby exhibition space for the whole of Scottish Environment Week. We asked upcoming artists and graphic designers to ‘picture’ a sustainable Scotland and tell Members of the Scottish Parliament what they must do to give Scotland a sustainable future.
We received a terrific response to our exhibition and the 18 shortlisted designs, including the 2 joint winners – Flower of Scotland, Claudia Baldacchino and Bee a Friend, Angel Nervida – can be viewed here. Supported by Keep Scotland Beautiful and GMP Print Solutions. Sponsor Ross Greer MSP
Tuesday 21 February
Planning Futures seminar
This event, sponsored by Maurice Golden MSP, discussed how planning reform could be a real opportunity for achieving sustainable development. Speakers included Aedán Smith, Head of Planning at RSPB Scotland and Convenor of LINK’s Planning Group, Kate Houghton of RTPI Scotland, Chris Cutts of the Forth Estuary Forum and Professor James Curran, climate scientist. We heard that while we face significant environmental challenges, not least climate change, planning policies have the potential to present solutions. It was proposed there could be benefits from effectively integrating the frameworks and strategies covering land use, marine and town planning. Thanks to RTPI Scotland for supporting this event.
Speak Up for the Environment Poetry Night
We were moved and entertained by poets who are inspired by the natural environment and passionate about the changes we need to make. It was a great line-up including Rachel Amey, Amanda Baker, Ellen Renton, Marjorie Gill, Katherine McMahon and Spike Munro, and was ably compered by Kevin Cadwallender! We are grateful to Liam McArthur MSP as event sponsor, and to Calor Scotland for their support.
Wednesday 22 February
The Future is Now event
Key to a sustainable future is connecting children and young people with the natural world and ensuring that sustainability issues are embedded in the curriculum. This drop-in event, sponsored by Jeremy Balfour MSP, showed how LINK members are using imaginative ways to engage young people. The event proved popular with MSPs and they were entertained by a drama performance and an interactive board game amongst other things! It was an opportunity to see all the wonderful work being carried out by Froglife, Marine Conservation Society, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, RSPB Scotland, RZSS, Scottish Badgers and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Environmental Futures Evening Reception
The evening reception proved to be another highlight of Scottish Environment Week, with speeches from host Graeme Dey MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP and LINK President Joyce McMillan. We were delighted to be joined by art students involved in the ‘Picture This’ exhibition and the two winners were awarded their prize and congratulated by Joyce McMillan on the evening. We are grateful to sponsor, Graeme Dey MSP, and to Historic Environment Scotland for their support.
Thursday 23 February
Science for Environmental Futures breakfast event
This turned out to be a great start to a sleety Thursday morning at Holyrood! Sponsor Maree Todd MSP introduced the event and then we heard from Alex Kinninmonth, Head of Marine Policy at RSPB Scotland. Alex told us about the innovative satellite tracking technology which has been used since 2010 to help solve seabird conservation mysteries. He also reported on the movements of Maree Todd in the preceding week since she had graciously allowed herself to be satellite tagged! We tagged MSPs to help demonstrate just how useful this tracking data can be. While we didn’t manage to download data from every MSP tag due to either technical hitches (or tags not being worn!), we’d like to say a big thank you to all who were game enough to be tagged – Graeme Dey MSP, Liam McArthur MSP, Maree Todd MSP, Mike Russell MSP, Finlay Carson MSP and researchers Steven Dehn and Laura Thomas.
Next, Anthony McCluskey of Butterfly Conservation Scotland told us about urban meadows and green roofs and how dispersal is crucial to butterflies faced with climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation. Gill Murray-Dickson from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland gave us an insight into just how valuable eDNA can be as a conservation tool in her talk “Using DNA from the good… as well as the bad and the (sometimes) ugly”. Last but not least, Robin Pakeman from the James Hutton Institute talked about targeting agri-environment spend for best effect. In summary, we heard how ecological research in Scotland is providing new understanding, and is helping to put us in a strong position to manage our natural environment for the future.
Inspirational Nature event
Artists have been inspired by Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage since time immemorial. We were delighted to have independent artists join us at this event to tell how their work has been influenced by Scotland’s nature, landscapes and history. We heard fascinating talks from Ellis O’Connor, Edd Wellesley-Davies, Darren Woodhead and Minty Donald and the event was facilitated by Uwe Stoneman, artist and conservationist. Thanks to sponsors Lewis Macdonald MSP and Pauline McNeill MSP, and to Historic Environment Scotland for their support.
Thank you to all our sponsoring MSPs and financial supporters of SEW including Historic Environment Scotland, Calor Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, GMP Print Solutions.
We are grateful to all LINK member organisations, Creative Carbon Scotland and participating artists for their input and contributions to Scottish Environment Week 2017 – thank you all!
LINK acknowledges the generous grant support for core operations funded by grants from Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government.
For more information please contact our Advocacy Office on 0131 225 4345