New report captures children and young people's views on the environment
Date: 28th May 2020
Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms
The Crown Estate Scotland is responsible for the management of land and property in Scotland by the Monarchy. To children and young people’s insight is taken into account in the 2020-23 Corporate Plan, the views of seven to 25-year-olds on Scotland's land, seabed and coast were gathered.
Children in Scotland was commissioned to direct sessions and conduct online survey during November and December 2019, to gather the views of children and young people. The concerns raised by children and young people were about marine pollution; efforts to protect the natural environment; animal welfare; and the need for communities to be heard in the debate about environmental protection. From this consultation with children and young people, Children in Scotland made the following recommendations to Crown Estate Scotland:
- Crown Estate Scotland could develop a more accessible Corporate Plan (with a video) explaining the key priorities and planned actions. This will not only support children and young people’s engagement, but that of the wider community.
- The redrafted Corporate Plan should reflect the findings from this consultation with children and young people, including the content they have suggested, thus reflecting what is important to them in terms of what makes good environmental asset management. These suggested changes will have a positive impact on the Corporate Plan, the work of Crown Estate Scotland and thus support Scotland to flourish.
- Consultation with children and young people should continue as an ongoing process to ensure that more children and young people have opportunities to engage. As key stakeholders they have a right to have their voices heard on matters that impact on their lives. A wider range of young voices will ensure a more nuanced understanding. For example, it may be beneficial to work with The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs to discover the thoughts and opinions from young farmers’ perspectives.
- Crown Estate Scotland should continue to adopt a rights-based approach to its work. A rights-based approach involves working to uphold children’s human rights. As a result, Crown Estate should engage with children and young people in a wider ongoing process and consider exploring options such as:
- Encourage young people to apply to be non-executive Board members
- Advisory group of children and young people
- Specific project-based work
- Partnerships with children and young people-centred organisations to develop information for schools and youth settings regarding the role and remit of Crown Estate Scotland. This could be designed and developed in partnership with young people.
- The corporate plan should make more explicit reference to the role that community engagement will have on decision-making, thus reflecting the commitment to the development of a community engagement strategy.
- Crown Estate Scotland should develop enhanced partnership working with environmental organisations, such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, to keep environmental protection high on the agenda.
- Crown Estate Scotland should work with the Scottish Government to help secure continued funding post-Brexit to ensure a sustainable future, especially for the farming and fishing sector.
- Crown Estate Scotland should work in partnership with national farm, land and sea bodies to ensure they are engaged and involved in planning for the future of Scotland and the planet.