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17th March 2023

Young Speakers from the GSA Biosphere on the programme at F5

A speaker at the podium at the F5 event in March 2023

The GSA Biosphere’s two Project Support Officers attended an important partnership event this week: Future, Food, Fisheries, Farming & Forestry, which was held at The Moredun Research Institute near Edinburgh and hosted by The Royal Society of Arts and Ann Packard who founded R+EINS (Rural + Environmental Networks Scotland). This collaborative symposium brought together speakers from key land use industries to talk about the challenges, pressures and opportunities that are impacting food production, biodiversity, rural communities and economies.

Jake and Malcolm are with the GSA Biosphere for 12 months learning about our region’s UNESCO designation and how partnership working and knowledge-exchange can support sustainable development. They were kindly invited to F5 not only to learn more about land-based industries but also to contribute to the discussions themselves. They were also able to interview a number of attendees about challenges affecting their organisations, and land use in Scotland more generally. Malcolm was on the programme speaking as a young person, a demographic that is often underrepresented in discussions about the economic issues that will significantly impact their lives and careers. An important point that Malcolm made was that whatever projects and initiatives audience members are working on today, soon enough these will be passed into younger hands; Malcolm emphasised how critical inclusion and education is, if the next generation is to be able to steer good practice even further forward. Malcolm talked about how important it is that farming, fishing and forestry connects and collaborates with other sectors, and about how the changes these industries are seeing are not just in policy or out on the land: they are tangible in everyday life, in our workplaces and our homes. Finally, Malcolm was keen to emphasise the role that young people can have in using their passion and knowledge to inspire change within their families and among their peers.

To give an idea of the breadth of expertise on the agenda at the F5 event, here is the full list of speakers and the topics that were discussed:

Our thanks to F5 funders who made it possible for Jake and Malcolm to be a part of this important forum.

Malcolm Haddow from Team GSAB on the podium at F5 in March 2023

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