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Ariane Burgess MSP Marks World Population Day With Focus on Rural Depopulation

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Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands region, is marking World Population Day on 11th July by focusing on the challenges of rural depopulation in the region she represents.

“Rural depopulation is not inevitable,” said Ms Burgess.

“Places like Orkney have shown that our rural and island communities can be attractive destinations for young people to live, as well as older people to retire to.”

Ms Burgess pointed to the recent research by Rewilding Britain, which shows that rewilding efforts across Scotland have boosted job numbers by more than 400%.

“Rewilding can turbocharge social and economic benefits for people, while offering hope for reversing biodiversity loss and tackling climate breakdown,” she said.

She also highlighted the need for innovative ways of delivering employment-related housing – an essential pre-requisite for economic development.

“The employers I meet in the Highlands are keen to grow and expand but struggle to recruit and house workers.

“That’s why Greens in Government pushed for an increase in the number of homes being built in rural areas and secured funding to support communities who want to take the lead on building their own housing.”

“On this World Population Day, let’s focus on the opportunities we have to reverse rural depopulation.

“The choice and the opportunity for the country is huge – for jobs and local economies, and for better health, food production and access to nature and clean air.”

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