Eleanor Scott, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has welcomed the announcement today by SNH of a consultation on a draft management strategy for peatlands in Caithness and Sutherland.
Dr Scott said, “I am delighted to see SNH putting serious effort into a strategy for the future of the Flow Country. I hope that lots of people will respond to this consultation because it is vital that the management of the area involves the local communities and takes into account the ideas and opinions of local people.”
Dr Scott, who has been championing the effort to achieve World Heritage Site listing of the Flow Country, ever since visiting Forsinard last winter, continued, “I am particularly pleased to see that the issue of World Heritage Site listing is part of the consultation. I think that it is time for global recognition of the importance of the biggest blanket bog in the world: for its biodiversity, as a carbon sink helping to moderate climate change, and also as a cultural landscape that supports local peopleʼs livelihoods. World Heritage Site listing would be an accolade and a boon for local tourism, and it requires a management strategy to deliver benefits to the local communities in ways that are truly sustainable.
“We have got the management of this landscape badly wrong in the past, particularly through totally inappropriate forestry. This is a golden opportunity to put that behind us and decide how these globally significant peatlands should be managed in future.”
(Note: this item was originally published on Eleanor Scott’s Parliamentary website.)