Sunday, 12 April 2009

Flow Country for World Heritage Status

Photo above: Group in the Flow Country - from left: Stuart Howsden Director of RSPB, Rob Gibson MSP, Iain Jardine and Lesley Cranna SNH, George Capbell RSPB, plus another RSPB/SNH representative

The case for the Caithness and Sutherland Flow Country to be put forward as an UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) will be aired at the SNP Special Conference this week.

An all encompassng amendment to Conference will include the SNP's Sutherland and Thurso branches' joint amendment for the 1500 square miles 11,000 hectare plus blanket bog to be put forward for candidature for world heritage status. It is merged with a call for similar status to be given to Arbroath Abbey.

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson who opened the the Flows National Nature reserve in August 2007 has long been a supporter of WHS for the Flow Country said....

"The Flow Country is of great significance not just to the environment of Scotland but also that of Europe. Carbon capture plays a vital part in fighting the effects of climate change and the Flow Country is one of the largest natural occurring natural carbon sinks in the World. For that reason alone it must be recognised worldwide."

"The case for WHS was underlined to me recently when the Economy,Energy and Tourism Committee visited the UHI Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, where Prof Stuart Gibb expanded on the unique size and diversity of species of the blanket bog."

"The Flows is a place of sanctuary or many birds and other species which in itself attracts people to the area. This will help the economy in a remote part of the Country. International recognition will have the dual benefits of protecting the area whilst attracting more people to view the wildlife and rare flora ad fauna which it supports in this wet desert."

"WHS status for the Flow Country is an idea whose time has come. It will become increasingly importantin the future . WHS for the Flow Country is for the world of tomorrow and so work should be started on recognising it today."

"It is incumbent therefore that the UK Government (which is in responsible for nominating candidates for WHS) pushes the Flow Country case for WHS. if it is true that UK Government are considering stopping any future WHS bids then they are not doing the best by the people or the environment they purport to represent especially as we reach the historic conclusion of the Scottish Climate Change Bill in the Parliament."


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