Giving wild Scotland the future it deserves.

10 Oct 2019

A film highlighting that just 5 per cent of available UK charitable grants go to protect Scotland’s nature has been launched in Edinburgh with some of Scotland’s most influential funders.

Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of more than 35 Scottish conservation and environmental groups and charities worked with Maramedia to create the stunning film This is Scotland to highlight a worrying statistic that was first revealed in the 2017 report Where the Green Grants Went Scotland.
In 2017, the Environment Funders Network published a report, Where the Green Grants Went, Scotland, which highlighted a massive funding hole for the nation’s conservation efforts. This is despite Scotland being home to some of the UK’s most spectacular and critically endangered natural heritage. The report found that only 29% of grant giving foundations operating in the UK gave grants to environmental causes in Scotland.

Although Scotland is home to 56% of the UK’s coastline, coastal and marine ecosystems in Scotland received just 3% of environmental funding. Climate and atmosphere related work received even less: 0.4% of all environmental grants by value.

Dr Deborah Long, Chief Officer of Scottish Environment LINK says:
“Scotland is internationally renowned for the amazing wildlife and landscapes that characterise these tiny islands in the north west Atlantic. Scotland is home to a stunning diversity of species and is home to more than its fair share of world populations of, for example, gannets, grey seals, mosses and liverworts.
“However, the State of Nature Scotland report, shows ongoing and accelerating declines in species in terms of numbers and distribution. Scotland’s environmental charities are working together to highlight this urgent issue, to reverse the trends and to ensure future generations can enjoy the natural richness we take for granted today. But Scotland needs appropriate levels of funding to be able to do that. Without investment, nature and landscapes in Scotland have no future.”

Maramedia, the company behind landmark BBC nature documentary series including Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart and Hebrides: Islands on the Edge created the film using beautiful footage of Scotland’s wild flora and fauna.

The issue of under-funding for Scotland’s environment was further explored at the film’s launch in Scotland during a panel discussion with leading environmentalist Hugh Raven, Chair of Environmental Funders Network, Drew Bennellick of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mike Robinson, CEO of Royal Scottish Geographical Society, who coordinated of one of the earliest and most successful funded partnerships Forests for the Future and chaired by Deborah Long, Chief Officer of Scottish Environment LINK.

Hugh Raven commented:
“Scotland is home to world class landscapes and nature, which lie at the heart of ambitions for a healthy natural environment, supporting the mental and physical health of our people and the wellbeing of our communities. It is part of who we are.
However, we are at a unique juncture for climate and environment across the globe, and nationally. We want to explore how to resource the step up to restore, conserve and use nature in a truly sustainable Scottish future.
Our report showed that Scotland’s environment gets a rum deal in terms of philanthropic support. If we are serious about conserving the nature of Scotland, these trends must be reversed urgently so that future generations can enjoy the many sights and sounds that Scotland has to offer and which are beautifully portrayed in this film.”

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