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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Rewilding is Reviving Scotland’s Rural Communities

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Remarkable new figures showing rewilding projects in Scotland have increased jobs by over 400% are a cause for celebration, says Scottish Green Party MSP for the Highlands and Islands Ariane Burgess.

“This data from Rewilding Britain highlights the immense potential of rewilding to revive our rural communities that have struggled for too long,” said Burgess.

“Just a handful of new jobs in a community can be the difference between a school or shop staying open or shuttering for good.

“Rewilding is clearly creating valuable employment opportunities across a diverse range of sectors.”

The analysis found that rewilding areas covering nearly 60,000 hectares saw full-time equivalent jobs surge from just 24 before rewilding began to 123 currently.

Jobs created include hospitality, tourism, estate management, ecology, environmental monitoring, rewilding work, recreation, and education.

“These aren’t just any jobs, but roles that connect people more deeply to nature and their local landscapes,” noted Burgess.

“Reviving our rural areas can’t be done through old industrial models, but by tapping into the growing markets for eco-tourism, sustainable land management, and green enterprises.”

Ms Burgess praised the Scottish Rewilding Alliance’s calls for the Scottish Government to declare Scotland the world’s first Rewilding Nation, with nature recovery across 30% of land and sea by 2030.

“This is exactly the kind of bold vision we need to address the climate and nature emergencies while reinvigorating communities from the Highlands to the Borders.”

“For too long, remote areas of Scotland have seen economic stagnation and youth exodus as traditional industries declined,” said Burgess.

“Rewilding can help reverse that trend by creating diverse local economies centred around nature restoration and reviving these communities’ greatest assets – their breathtaking landscapes.

“It’s an inspiring path forward for a greener, more prosperous future across rural Scotland.”

“In Parliament yesterday my MSP colleague Fergus Ewing claimed “rewilding means redundancies”.

“As this research shows, he couldn’t be more wrong.

“I urge all parties to get behind this inspiring vision for a revitalised, rejuvenated Scotland.”

“We cannot afford to ignore the interlinked climate and nature crises facing the world.

“But as this data shows, solutions like rewilding can deliver a renaissance for Scotland’s rural communities while future-proofing our society and economy.

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