In the lead up to Valentine's Day, RSPB Scotland is asking people to 'Show the Love' for their favourite special places that they don't want to lose to climate change. Members of the public are being encouraged to don green hearts to support the campaign and show that climate change is an issue that they care about.
Along with our partners in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition we are also asking people to support calls for continued ambitious efforts from the Scottish Government on the Climate Change Plan and Climate Bill. They can do this by writing to or meeting with their MSP and gifting them a green heart of their own.
The special places that people are being asked to celebrate offer important homes for wildlife, as well as providing essential resources such as clean drinking water and fresh air by combating the effects of air pollution, reducing flooding risks and improving society's physical and mental wellbeing.
All across the country RSPB Scotland nature reserves will be taking part in 'Show the Love' with engaging activities for all ages, to show how much they care about these special places.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, visited RSPB Scotland Loch Leven today (Friday 10 February) to celebrate this special place in her constituency and discover more about the threat climate change poses to it.
As part of the visit, she was presented with a felt green heart handmade by an RSPB member who wants to show the love for 'nature and endangered species around the world'.
Climate Change Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: "I would encourage people across Scotland to get involved in the Show the Love campaign which is highlighting the importance of protecting some of our most treasured places and peatlands in our efforts to tackle climate change. Peatland is not only a key habitat for wildlife and biodiversity, but it plays an important role in carbon capture and helps reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
"Improving and investing in our peatlands is crucial if we are to continue to build on our world leading low carbon ambitions, which saw us exceed our 2020 emissions reductions targets, six years early. We recently published a draft Climate Change Plan which sets out a package of policies and proposals that will help maintain Scotland's reputation as a climate leader within the international community."
Part of the Loch Leven National Nature Reserve, RSPB Scotland Loch Leven is an internationally important home for wetland wildlife. The loch supports one of the highest concentrations of breeding ducks in Europe and is a key stop over point on one of Europe's largest migration fly-ways for pink-footed geese and whooper swans.
Isobel Mercer, Protected Areas Policy Officer for RSPB Scotland, said: "Defending our protected areas will help to secure the future of native wildlife and make us more resilient in the face of climate change. Protected areas such as woodlands and peatlands help mitigate against climate change by being effective carbon sinks, while wetlands provide essential flood management.
"Our natural environment is irreplaceable and must be safeguarded. Protected areas and the benefits they provide will be even more important as the impacts of climate change become more pronounced and widespread, but they also play a crucial role in reversing the declines of wildlife and habitats. Sadly even these most treasured sites continue to be undervalued and placed under pressure. Reversing declines in wildlife will require a concerted and coordinated effort by public bodies, NGOs and private landowners, to use adequate resources and targeted funding to improve the condition of protected areas."
RSPB Scotland members will be supporting the 'Show the Love' campaign by participating in activities across Scotland between 7 and 14 February.