Around 500 delegates from protected areas across Europe are gathering in Aviemore next week (18-21 September) for the annual EUROPARC Conference – which, during Scotland’s Year of Young People – is aptly focusing on the next generation.
Opening the main part of the event at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort on Wednesday 19 September is the Scottish Government Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon.
On Wednesday morning, among the key note speakers is Richard Louv, writer of ‘Last Child in the Woods’ and ‘The Nature Principle’; he will be talking about ‘nature deficit disorder’ explaining the correlation between an increase in social, mental and physical health problems with less time spent in nature because of busy, technology driven lives. Joining him is Hendrikus van Hensbergen, Chief Executive of Action for Conservation, Karen Keenleyside from Parks Canada and conference host Muriel Gray.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is hosting the EUROPARC 2018 conference – the key event of the year for those working in Europe’s Protected Areas – which lasts over four days in total and has attracted delegates from 36 countries.
What National Parks and other protected areas can learn from young people and what changes need to be made will be at the fore during the event.
Friday is the final day of the EUROPARC conference and will see John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills join delegates for the launch of the collaborative, Europe-wide, Youth Manifesto. This important milestone will enable young people to shape how they live, learn and work in rural communities and protected areas.
You can also keep up to date with what is going on at EUROPARC via @cairngormsnews on Facebook and Twitter #EUROPARC2018.