Biosphere plan welcomed
Members of The Highland Council’s Ross and Cromarty Committee have welcomed the work of the Wester Ross Biosphere and its draft 5 year plan.
Committee Chair, Cllr Fiona Robertson said: “I am delighted to hear about links being created with educational establishments by the Wester Ross Biosphere for research purposes and the exchange of knowledge resulting from this. Members are also looking forward to hearing more in the future about the Project’s work on creating a cultural and heritage-based database for the area.”
Biosphere Reserve status was awarded to Wester Ross by UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2016. The designated area extends from the tip of Knoydart northwards to Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles and inland eastwards to Garve, including population centres in Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, Gairloch and Ullapool.
The Wester Ross Biosphere is only the second designated biosphere in Scotland and only I of 6 in the UK. There are currently 669 biospheres in 120 countries worldwide.
Dr Audrey Sinclair, Chair of the Wester Ross Biosphere, gave a short history to the Area Committee of how WRB was awarded this world-recognised accolade and become part of the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere network.
Dr Sinclair said “Wester Ross Biosphere’s mission statement is to provide a framework for residents, organisations and businesses to work together for the sustainable development of the area along with the conservation of its natural heritage.”
Natasha Hutchison, Wester Ross Biosphere Project Officer, introduced a draft version of the biosphere’s 5 year plan from 2018 – 2023. The document will encompass communication; sustainable development, conservation and knowledge sharing.
Natasha said: “We want Wester Ross to be a place where people and nature connect to inspire a positive future for the area. We will achieve this by raising awareness of the biosphere and engaging with young people.
“We will promote sustainable economic, social and environment practises in the biosphere so that businesses value its designation, its financial sustainability and create partnerships to achieve this.
“We will also increase local understanding of the value of the biosphere natural heritage, share good conservation practises and support climate change research projects in the area.”
Further information on the project is at www.westerrossbiosphere.com