A new panel of young people is to promote Scotland's environment after a survey found young Scots lack knowledge but really care about nature
A new youth environment panel has been set up to get more young people interested in nature.
Third sector groups Young Scot and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have joined forces to establish the new national youth advisory group ReRoute after a recent survey found only 15% of young people had heard of Scotland's Biodiversity Route Map to 2020.
Route Map 2020 sets out six nature issues that need to be addressed for Scotland and the Scottish Government to meet its international biodiversity obligations set by the Convention of Biological Diversity for 2020.
The steps include ways to support nature and the many benefits it provides us all in the shape of clean air, flood protection, climate change resilience, health and wellbeing and a thriving economy.
The ReRoute group will be made up of 14 volunteers aged 13 to 23. Each will be tasked with engaging other young people to promote the importance of meeting the obligations and how others can become involved.
I’m excited that we are getting this amazing opportunity to work together with SNH and the Scottish Government
ReRoute member Julia Young said she hoped the work of the group would be visionary.
She added: “I think the work that we are doing is going to be important because this really puts young people right at the centre of making decisions about our future.
“I’m excited that we are getting this amazing opportunity to work together with SNH and the Scottish Government to raise awareness of the issues and projects in the Route Map to 2020 throughout Scotland and that we will be playing a key role in helping the country reach its targets.”
The survey, which highlighted young people’s lack of knowledge of the nature targets, was conducted by Young Scot.
It also found 89% of the young people considered nature and the outdoors important and 74% said they would like to learn more about it.
Minister for environment Dr Aileen McLeod said: “I am delighted that Young Scot is working with SNH to engage young people with biodiversity and inform them of the Biodiversity Route Map
“It is clear from Young Scot’s work that Scotland’s young people care strongly about nature and this project is a great opportunity for them to consider the important issues surrounding biodiversity. ReRoute will help to engage more young people in the vital task of looking after our natural environment.”