Animals & Wildlife Magazine

SNH Pledges Commitment to Empowering Communities

By Philpickin @philpickin

SNH pledges commitment to empowering communities


SNH has added its support to the revised National Standards for Community Engagement, launched yesterday by Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing. Nick Halfhide, Director of Operations for SNH, said: ”We believe that efforts to improve the environment are strengthened when communities are empowered to look after the environment and generate benefits from it – the future of environmental management lies in engagement and action by local communities. The National Standards for Community Engagement will help promote how best we, and other bodies, can support that.“Scottish Natural Heritage already works with many local communities and supports a wide range of volunteering, outreach and community action projects. These include the ReRoute national advisory panel with Young Scot, a fund for new greenspace in Scotland’s most deprived communities, and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire biosphere reserve.“The National Standards provide us with a benchmark which will help us check the work we do and identify where we can improve on this, and will help deliver better outcomes for communities and for public bodies like SNH.”SNH has also joined a group of public bodies that have signed-up to the Social Impact Pledge initiative, making three commitments which aim to increase the organisation’s positive impact on local communities.SNH has pledged to hold more of its receptions and meetings in community buildings, helping to generate income for community bodies and support wider activities. “In future, our first port of call for meetings with the public and communities will be to use a local community building wherever possible”, it said.The number of student placements SNH supports is also to significantly increase, from the current nine, to 14 posts in 2017/18. Over the past four years SNH has provided apprenticeships and placements for 37 young people, helping them to gain invaluable experience and secure longer-term environmental employment.SNH’s third Social Impact Pledge is to develop two ideas for piloting participatory budgeting approaches, to be delivered next year. Participatory budgeting allows community groups to take a lead on public spending projects, deciding how the money is spent. SNH said: “This will help us learn more about how participatory budgeting works, particularly in relation to our work and to environmental issues.”For more information about SNH’s work with communities, including how you can get involved in work to look after your local environment, visit .You can find out more on the Social Impact Pledge at, and the revised National Standards for Community Engagement are available on the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC website .

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