As COP26 starts in Glasgow RYA Scotland wish to reinforce our ongoing commitment to the environment through our Sustainability Statement and Action Plan in line with the National Lottery Environmental Campaign #PlanetaryPromise and the overall vision for a Sustainable Recreational Boating Sector in the UK.
Our performance sailors received very special guests as delegates descend on Scotland as the UN Special Envoy for the Oceans, Peter Thomson and President of the Ocean Race came to share messages collected from around the world as part of the Relay4Nature at Largs Sailing Club.
“Nature’s Baton is a symbol for ocean nations affected by climate change and in meeting the next generation of Scottish sailors to share the message that everything is connected by the oceans & the time for concerted Ocean-Climate action to set us on a sustainable course is right now.” Commented Peter Thomson ahead of his representations at the UN Climate Conference.
Alongside the Ocean Race and other marine organisations like the RYA, RYA Scotland recognises that the protection of the environment is an integral part of our activities. We believe that environmental damage is avoidable and will do everything we reasonably can to prevent it, thereby helping to ensure that our members can continue to enjoy the experience of boating in a clean environment.
RYA Scotland endorses the RYA Sustainability Strategy, which was launched in July 2020 and the associated RYA Environmental Policy Statement. The Strategy seeks to address key international concerns about the environment, along with wider sustainability issues. Not all aspects of the RYA Strategy are directly applicable to RYA Scotland as most environmental legislation is devolved. Nevertheless, the principles apply throughout the UK and is used to set our actions and targets.
The objectives in the RYA Sustainability Strategy are consistent with Scotland’s Goals for Sustainable Development and with the commitments made in the Second Strategic Framework for Scotland’s Marine Tourism Sector, Giant Strides, with which RYA Scotland was closely involved. We welcome the work that has already been carried out in association with British Marine in the Green Blue environmental awareness programme.
The RYA Scotland Sustainability Action Plan develops the RYA Strategy for our operations, taking advantage of existing links with other Scottish bodies in producing a series of actions and targets that reflect the situation in Scotland and enabling progress to be made in achieving the wider objectives listed in the RYA document.
The Action Plan indicated a number of short terms actions including making all RYA Scotland events plastic free this year and building on the experience of Covid-19 to utilise online meetings whenever appropriate to reduce emissions associated with travel. The plan sets out further actions to be taken over the next few years as RYA Scotland sets a Pathway to Zero in working alongside the RYA towards a sustainable boating sector.
James Allan CEO of RYA Scotland commented. “Implementing sustainable measures across areas of our work is a journey that builds upon over 15 years of environmental awareness through the Green Blue initiative alongside British Marine. We know the impact that this consistent messaging and specific advice has had, appearing in most marinas, clubs and centres across Scotland. We realise there is need for continuous improvement to ensure we continue to lead by example and build collaborative partnerships that help reinforce our planetary promises.”
Find out more about what you can do to reduce your impact on the environment while afloat and visit The Green Blue website for more details on practical actions related to boating.