The time is now

15 May 2019

Read our latest blog from our Chief Officer, Deborah Long.

The environment is back. It’s always been there of course, gradually changing but just recently a number of doors have been opened as collectively we start to recognise the enormity of the environmental challenges facing the world. LINK members use science and evidence on which to build effective solutions to tackle these challenges. Together we are working to achieve our aim of securing sustainable development in and beyond Scotland, where all aspects of the country’s environment are valued to enhance the quality of life for all.

Where are these doors?

August 2018: Climate strikes: Governments have been caught unawares by the demands coming from children that they and today’s society leave a decent legacy: a healthy and fully functioning environment, able to support the needs of future generations: ‘we are just passing on the words of science. Our only demand is that you start listening to it. And then start acting.’ (Greta Thunberg).

October 2018: Extinction rebellion: Spooked again by mobilising mass protects against nature loss and climate change: Rebel for life. For the planet. For our children’s children’s futures

28 April 2019: Nicola Sturgeon declares a climate emergency in Scotland: as First Minister of Scotland, I am declaring that there is a climate emergency. And Scotland will live up to our responsibility to tackle it. On 14 May, Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet secretary for the Environment laid out what that would entail: To deliver the transformational change that is required, we need structural changes across the board; to our planning, procurement and financial policies, processes and assessments. That is exactly what we’ll do.

6 May 2019: The UN Global Assessment of Nature: “The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

“The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” he said. “Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.

It’s hard to say how long these doors will stay open before politicians decide that it’s all too difficult and too expensive to act and will take much longer than they have in electoral cycles anyway. The role of eNGOs is to provide the expertise and solutions that should be implemented now to make real and immediate progress in tackling the challenges we all face. LINK is, in effect, getting our penguins in a line ready to provide guidance on solutions we know will work.

To do this, LINK will be:

  1. Coherent and truthful
  2. Concise and targeted
  3. Solutions focussed
  4. United in message and approach.
  5. Inspiring trust amongst policy makers to enable them to act within public opinion.

We know no one organisation can do this alone. The environment NGO sector in Scotland is sometimes seen as noisy, disagreeable, unable to agree a line and unrealistic to boot. Of course we are. The sector is full of passionate, energetic and expert people. However, we are committed to coming together and we are working on providing a vision for Scotland that enables policy makers to take effective action, by identifying the keystone actions and pursuing those and coming together as united voice, with environmental agencies and supporters in other sectors.

The vison we are starting form was first detailed in our Referendum Challenge in 2014. This, we think, provides the basis of a vision going forward and encapsulate what Scottish Environment LINK and our members are looking for.





A Scotland where…


We measure the success of our society intelligently
Education reconciles economic, social and environmental issues
We are successfully tackling climate change and using a precautionary approach to all development
Our natural and built environment benefits people’s health
The uses we make of our land, sea and air are integrated and sustainable
We protect and enhance our ecosystems and all the species in them
Decisions are taken as close to people as possible
We value and nurture our landscape and cultural heritage
Openness and public participation are central features of our governance
We learn from, and play our part in, the rest of the world


A serious surfer doesn’t plan to go surfing next Tuesday at two o’clock. You go surfing when there are waves and the tide and wind are right. (Yvon Chouinard, Funder of Patagonia Inc.)

The tide and wind are looking promising…

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