Leading By Example
Europe is learning much from Scotland’s National Park blueprint, but is enough being done in this country to build on that success
SCOTLAND’S National Parks are some of the best run in the world and are studied by other countries who want to learn how to develop their own. But this country should now be building on that success and creating more of them in order to bring environmental and economic growth.
Carol Ritchie, the Executive Director of the Europarc Federation – an organisation supporting thousands of protected areas including National and Regional Parks across 37 European countries – believes the Scottish Government needs to look at different models of Park, rather than the traditional bureaucratic frameworks.
Carol sees the National Parks of Scotland as some of its “best intellectual properties”. She added, “I spend most of my time going around Europe promoting Scotland’s National Parks and that’s not my primary job; it is just they have a very workable model that the rest of Europe is learning from.”
The Scots Magazine supports the Scottish Campaign For National Parks which says up to seven more Parks could be set up here.
Carol agrees, and says more needs to be done by politicians. “The creation of Scotland’s National Parks was a bold move and the Scottish Government has shown leadership in doing something new and different by investing in Scotland. Although it was a different administration which created the National Parks, the SNP Government in the last 10 years has continued to invest and enhanced them in many ways.”
But she added, “In the rest of Europe, Scotland’s nature conservation is seen as a beacon of good practice and I think we should take a bit more leadership.
“We are the only ones that are not learning the lessons from our National Parks. It is all very well to proclaim the good work that our National Parks have done but if it is that good you should be replicating the benefits in other parts of Scotland – not just from the injection of money but from vision and potential.”