The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is delighted to be part of MAC-CAN. There are many shared values between GSAB and MAC-CAN around sustainability and a focus on local action in the face of the global climate crisis.
What is the Climate Crisis?
The climate of this planet is changing. It has been for many decades, centuries in fact. There is no doubt about this, it has been clearly documented many times over in all corners of the world. Local weather patterns have changed, precipitation patterns have altered, temperatures have unbalanced. The cause of these changes is rooted in the increasing overall temperature of this planet. Once again, there is no doubt that this is happening, it has been well researched and proven.
The climbing temperature of the planet is causing dramatic changes in local weather and climate, andputs at immediate risk a series of elements upon which we depend, most clearly the ability to grow food and water security. There are further life-threatening impacts created by rising temperatures; drought, wild-fires, melting ice caps, the increased success of disease and pathogens, and much more.
For anyone questioning the local relevance of any of this, local weather data has already demonstrated that the South West of Scotland is experiencing warmer, wetter winters and warmer, drier summers. For an already wet area, becoming even wetter creates the immediate risk of ground saturation and floods. Flooding, drier summers and warmer winters all affect the growing success of crops. Droughts and warmer temperatures pose the new risk of wild fires, like that seen around Cairnsmore of Fleet in 2021.
We are experiencing climate change, and we are facing climate change, leaving us with only one option…we must prepare. Building climate resilience at a regional and community level is going to be crucial to help us adapt to what is coming. There are tools we can use to help us in this; restoring biodiversity is crucial to buffering temperature changes, cleaning and managing water and air and recycling nutrients; reducing the amount of resources we use cuts our environmental footprint as individuals, communities and businesses, and a sustainable approach to work and life helps us be more futures-thinking rather than a YOLO outlook.
MAC-CAN and GSAB; Two groups, one vision
MAC-CAN and GSAB both have a focus on climate action and climate education. Climate action takes many forms; creating opportunities for people to share views, discussions and ideas; reflecting on how we can live in a more sustainable way, and hands-on action such as biodiversity improvements and environmental protection. Climate education is crucially important to support others to explore and learn about the climate crisis for themselves, including young people.
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is part of a global network of over 700 Biosphere Reserves around the world, designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (https://en.unesco.org/biosphere). Biospheres are described as ‘learning places for sustainable development’ – sites of excellence – places where innovative ideas and local to global action is taking place to meet the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Network of Biosphere Reserves is a major international tool to develop and implement sustainable development approaches in a wide array of contexts. In addition, the world network of Biosphere Reserves promotes North-South collaboration and represents a unique tool for international co-operation through sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, building capacity and promoting best practices. The GSA Biosphere is home to many fantastic groups and initiatives working to promote sustainability and environmental protection and take action on climate change, and MAC-CAN is a great example of such a group, making great strides in achieving SDG 13: Climate Action on a regional level, taking local action, but all the while keeping eyes on the rest of the world; a very Biosphere-y thing to do.