Planet, humanity and citizenship: the 3 pillars of the SCVO blueprint for the future

Published as LINK Thinks 20 February 2020 On Thursday 20 February, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) launched their manifesto for the future, offering a blueprint for action under 3 pillars of planet, humanity and citizenship, and which recognises the need for a thriving, sustainable third sector, able to work together and with governmentContinue reading “Planet, humanity and citizenship: the 3 pillars of the SCVO blueprint for the future”

Do you hear a siren? That’s the warning signal of a full-blown emergency in nature

Published by Scottish Environment LINK on 5 November 2019 Scotland is arguably the most nature rich part of the UK. With over 60% of the coastline and marine habitat, all the UK’s arctic – alpine habitats, all the machair, Caledonian pinewood and most of the temperate rainforest, Scotland is nature rich. But the prospects areContinue reading “Do you hear a siren? That’s the warning signal of a full-blown emergency in nature”

Nicola Sturgeon’s letter underlines commitment to nature. Now let’s see a Scottish Environment Act!

Blog published as a LINK Thinks by Scottish Environment LINK In June, LINK brought together 97 organisations to write to the First Minister to ask her to take action to protect, enhance and restore our environment – as the best insurance against climate change and to provide subsequent generations with a sustainable future. You canContinue reading “Nicola Sturgeon’s letter underlines commitment to nature. Now let’s see a Scottish Environment Act!”

Wildlife conservation: complacency and certainty

This blog originated as a presentation at the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Biodiversity conference one year ago in October 2017: Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity. Originally, Professor Pat Monaghan and I examined complacency and uncertainty in wildlife conservation today. But as we wrote it, we realised the uncertainty was in fact a certainty…. Scotland’s image inContinue reading “Wildlife conservation: complacency and certainty”

Forget about designer handbags – designer weeds are the future

How resilient are we? The world is changing dramatically – not just politically but socially and environmentally too. Resilience to change is becoming increasingly important, especially in environmental terms. We need to build the resilience of our environment, and our ecosystems, so that we can cope with ongoing changes in climate. The thing is thatContinue reading “Forget about designer handbags – designer weeds are the future”

Testing times, testing biodiversity

Last week, there was a debate in the Scottish Parliament on biodiversity. It started with the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform saying: Given that the natural environment is worth more than £20 billion per annum to our economy and supports more than 60,000 direct jobs, I welcome the opportunity toContinue reading “Testing times, testing biodiversity”

Launching the State of Nature: building diversity & having fun

On Wednesday 14 September, the State of Nature partnership launched the second State of Nature report. At its launch in Edinburgh, I gave this speech. I was aiming to help people remember what fun nature can be and  inspire them to act with us to save nature. Let me know of your memories of nature andContinue reading “Launching the State of Nature: building diversity & having fun”

What is a national ecological network anyway?

There is  a lot of talk about natural capital and ecosystem services at the moment. One of the ways of protecting our capital and services is establishing a national ecological network. So what is that? A National Ecological Network (NEN) consists of robust and healthy ecosystems, capable of sustaining the full range of ecosystem servicesContinue reading “What is a national ecological network anyway?”

Nature needs us to get MAD

For the last 40 years. European legislation has set a benchmark for environmental legislation. This has provided a strategic framework for national legislation that is set for the long term, and makes ecological sense. Transposed into Scots law, as a result we have some of the best environmental legislation in the world. This is nowContinue reading “Nature needs us to get MAD”

Yes, no mebbe…does the nation care about native plants?

In Autumn every year, Scottish Natural Heritage commissions a public attitude survey about nature [1] . Scotland loves its native plants, doesn’t it? Scotland’s informal national anthem is ’Flower of Scotland’, Scotland’s national poet had a penchant for wild flowers, his wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow’r being one of many to feature in his poems, ScotlandContinue reading “Yes, no mebbe…does the nation care about native plants?”