Glasgow is supporting Scotland's first national Climate Week which runs until 23 September and aims to inspire people to take action on climate change.
Climate Week is a Scottish Government-led national campaign to raise awareness and inspire action on climate change.Organisations across Scotland are participating, running events and training designed to engage people on what climate change is, how they can be part of the solution and showcase achievements on climate change.
The Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Environment and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, kick-started climate week by touring part of the new Seven Lochs Wetland Park. She was joined by Glasgow Councillor Maureen Burke, who is the Chair of the Seven Lochs Partnership and Councillor Michael McPake from North Lanarkshire Council.
The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is Scotland's largest urban heritage and nature park. At over 16 sq km, the £6.8 million project spans the Glasgow City / North Lanarkshire council boundary between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps and will improve and protect the area's heritage buildings, wildlife habitat and archaeology, bringing them together to create a new attraction of national significance. It will also leave an important legacy for the communities within and neighbouring the park, and raise the environmental standard for new developments in the nearby Easterhouse and Gartloch community growth area.
As well as being a leading project in nature-based tourism, it is also an exemplar of climate action. The project also reduces the risk of climate change to native species, as well as the flood risk to communities in Glasgow. The park is also at the heart of a wider green network that will help reduce flood risk and encourage more active travel in communities around the park.
Ms Cunningham said during the visit: "Scotland continues to lead the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have continually made excellent progress including exceeding the level of our 2020 target, six years early.
"We acknowledge that more needs to be done to meet our ambitious future targets. A new Climate Change Plan, to be published in draft this winter, will build on our strong progress to date, setting out our priorities and commitments to meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets over the coming decades.
"Small individual actions, such as turning down your thermostat by one degree or washing at thirty degrees if repeated on a large scale, can have a big impact in tackling climate change."
The creation and management of the Seven Lochs is being taken forward by the Seven Lochs Partnership which brings together Glasgow City Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, The Conservation Volunteers Scotland, and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Councillor Maureen Burke, Chair of the Seven Lochs Partnership, said:"We all have a part to play in tackling the issues of climate change. The Seven Lochs Wetland Park project is a fitting example of what we are doing to make Glasgow a more beautiful, liveable and sustainable city. This will be the jewel in the crown of the region's green spaces, and will bring a host of benefits for local people and visitors alike."
Councillor McPake said: "The Seven Lochs project will bring significant benefits to the Coatbridge and the wider area including new walking and cycling routes and educational resources for schools and families to enjoy.
"We're keen for local people to feel involved as the projects develop and encourage everyone to take part in the various volunteering opportunities on offer."
The vision is of a new wetland park of national significance that will:
a. protect and enhance nature and heritage in the area as a national resource;
b. promote the health and wellbeing of resident and visitors; and
c. have a major impact on the environmental, social and economic regeneration of the area.
Development of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is supported by a grant of £4.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with funding from the Seven Lochs Partnership and a wide range of other funders.
For more information on the Seven Lochs visit http://www.sevenlochs.org
Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership has led the development of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and its wider Green Network. The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership works to make the Glasgow metropolitan region one of Europe's most attractive places to live, work and play.
For more information on the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership visit www.gcvgreennetwork.gov.uk
The Scottish Government is keen to ensure local places take a strategic approach to climate change. It recently provided £100,000 to seed-fund 'Climate Ready Clyde' - a cross-sector initiative which is developing a response to climate change across the Glasgow City Region.
Climate Ready Clyde is an initiative aiming to establish a cross-sector initiative which take a strategic, integrated approach to preparing for Climate Change in the Glasgow City Region. In doing so, it will help protect and grow the City-region's economy, as well as improving places and reducing unforeseen costs.
For more information about Climate Ready Clyde please visit www.sniffer.org.uk/knowledge-hubs/sustainable-places/climate-ready-clyde/
Climate Week is a Scottish Government-led national campaign to raise awareness and inspire action on climate change.
Climate Week runs until 23 September 2016. A full range of information on the events that are happening and the organisations participating can be found http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/sustainability-climate-change/sustainable-scotland-network/climate-week-2016/get-involved/