NatureScot Research Report 1295 - Youth Survey on NatureScot's Corporate Plan 2022-2026.
This report presents the findings of a survey which examined young people's views on nature in Scotland. The survey was undertaken to ensure that NatureScot's Corporate Plan 2022-26 is more reflective of the young people's wants for nature and takes proper account of their concerns. A total of 113, self-selecting, young people (11-30 years old) across Scotland responded. When asked what their vision for Scotland's nature in 2030, a range of futures were noted, with some expressing more ambition than others. Pictures were painted of a dynamic, restored and resilient Scotland, teeming with biodiversity, where nature is accessible to all, and people and nature are one and the same. At the same time, eco-anxiety, stemming from concerns regarding the climate emergency and biodiversity loss, was expressed by a significant number of respondents. Of the Corporate Priorities, nature-based solutions, marine protected areas, and increased funding for restoration projects ranked most important to young people. The least important priorities were the development and sharing of ecological data and establishing a new national park. A number of gaps were identified by the young people with the most notable being: monitoring and enforcement and NatureScot leading the cultural shift needed for increased nature connectedness and behaviour change within society. Under half of respondents felt that they were able to contribute to Scotland's nature-rich ambition, and over half felt there are barriers to young people's involvement in contributing to a nature-rich future. Most recorded barriers included barriers to skills and jobs, individual effort not being enough, finances, unaware of how to help, accessibility and lack of youth voice and limited opportunities outside of employment. Respondents suggested a number of ways in which NatureScot and others can help reduce these barriers including public education and behaviour change, jobs and career information, providing opportunities for young people to have a voice, and creation and promotion of opportunities outside of employment.