Scotland’s first UNESCO Biosphere to be Recognised as a World Leader at Major UN Congress

Short film will showcase the innovative work of Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere social enterprise to inform global strategy

Scotland’s first UNESCO Biosphere in Galloway & Southern Ayrshire is to be recognised as a world leader of social enterprise and sustainable development through the world premiere of a new short film at a major global conference in Peru.

The film, being screened for the first time at UNESCO’s 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima on 15 March 2016, showcases the vital role that the sustainable development of social enterprises plays in supporting Biospheres (areas renowned for their outstanding natural environment and the way in which the local community works to conserve it). It will help to inform the UN’s Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025 which will be developed at the Congress.

Commissioned especially for the UNESCO event, the featurette filmed by JstRoll Media, focuses on the Adventure Centre for Education (ACE). ACE is a social enterprise based in south west Scotland which encourages people to make the most of the natural assets of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere through a range of adventurous outdoor pursuits including forest schools, bushcraft, abseiling, mountain biking, hillwalking, canyoning and sea kayaking.

Joan Mitchell, Chair of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere explains the significance of the screening in Peru:

“We are very proud that this film was commissioned for the World Congress of Biosphere Reserves. Aptly for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, its screening at such a significant global event highlights a growing awareness of Scotland’s first UNESCO Biosphere in Galloway & Southern Ayrshire as a world leader in the innovative sustainable development of social enterprise to promote and protect our outstanding natural environments.

“Sustainable development has been an overarching goal of the United Nations for decades now, but to respond effectively to new social and environmental challenges it is widely acknowledged that a fresh approach is required. We’re absolutely delighted that our approach in this area is being used as an exemplar to shape the Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025 and benefit outstanding natural environments globally.”

The video will be presented by Assist Social Capital as an integral part in the launch of an online global platform that has been developed with support from the Scottish Government, to gather and promote examples of businesses that are working in harmony with the 651 Biosphere Reserves spread across 120 countries.

Capturing the stunning unspoilt environment of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, the video is part of an ongoing international initiative supported by The Scottish Government to demonstrate Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in social enterprise.

In the Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserves Development Framework published recently, John Swinney Deputy First Minister of Scotland and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy highlighted the importance of social enterprise to Biospheres: “UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves provide our communities, our children and young people with an opportunity to actively safeguard our natural capital for the future. Social enterprises empower communities to engage with the challenges of our 21st Century such as climate change, health, food and water security.

“By linking with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Social Enterprise in Biosphere Reserves Development Framework will help strengthen environmental and economic progress. This will be achieved by supporting social enterprises in and around Biosphere Reserves to thrive, providing a platform to generate new socially and environmentally responsible employment.”

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