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What do we want our future to look like?

This opinion piece is about 3 years old

Author illustration
29 March 2021
by Nick Hawkes
Campaigns communications officer at RSPB

Nick Hawkes explains how #oorfootprints can shape our future during the Holyrood election campaign

At this year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections we have the power to shape our future and make sure that climate and nature are at the heart of policymaking for the next Scottish Government.

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated to many of us the importance of nature in our everyday lives, from helping to improve our mental health and physical wellbeing to demonstrating our connection to our planet and each other at a time when many of us felt isolated.

Despite this, our climate and biodiversity remain threatened and time is running out to act. We cannot allow another decade of inaction to put nature and the climate further at risk.

By voting in the Scottish election this spring we have the power to speak up for climate and nature and help shape policies that will safeguard people, the climate and nature; from agriculture to forestry and fisheries, land use and planning to environmental issues.

But before we cast our votes our challenge is to demand that our parties and candidates understand and are committed to taking urgent action in addressing the nature and climate crisis.

We already know what can be achieved when we work together, in 2019 we saw over 20,000 young people from around Scotland challenge the Scottish Government to take decisive action on climate change. Just five days later, the Scottish Government increased its 2030 emissions reductions target to 75%.

That is why we at RSPB Scotland have partnered with WWF Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Scottish Environment Link, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, the Scottish Food Coalition and Woodland Trust Scotland to get people to speak up for nature and the climate. 

From 12 April we’re asking people to come together online and make their mark with #oorfootprints on social media by sharing photos, videos and drawings which represent our connection to nature and the climate and that tell our candidates what actions we want to see as a priority for the next Scottish Government. 

We want to know what our climate and our nature means to you and how you connect with it. Whether it’s a weekend walk through one of our wild forests or the feeling of sand under your feet on a trip to a local beach, nature’s impact on our lives is huge and sometimes it can be easy to miss.  

Through #oorfootprints we can help our elected representatives to understand the role of nature and the climate in creating a better future for ourselves and for Scotland and the steps we need to take to safeguard it.

Here's some ideas about how you can participate in the #oorfuture campaign from 12 April: 

  1. Take a photo, paint a picture, make a mould or write something on your shoes that represents your footprint. Relate this to your vision for nature and the climate, the special spaces you want saved or the action you want from policymakers. 
  2. Post to social media using the hashtag #oorfuture or #oorfootprint
  3. Tag anyone! Candidates, parties, friends, family, businesses and challenge them! ‘Show me your footprints @’, ‘Let’s walk into #oorfuture together @’
  4. Tag us! Which organisation do you want to see with a similar post? 
  5. Use your footprint emoji! Add them in their status after taking action? ??
  6. Write something! In the comments of your post, in the mud or sand at your feet, or on a piece of paper in your photo or video. What can the newly elected Scottish Government do for nature, for the climate, for our health, education and food systems and young people? 

Nick Hawkes is campaigns communications officer at RSPB Scotland