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Members' Business (Virtual): The Potential for a Galloway National Park

Thursday 11 February 2021 5:13 PM

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That the Parliament recognises the Galloway National Park Association’s work in promoting the establishment of a national park in the area as potentially Scotland’s third such development; considers that this could bring positive benefits to mental and physical health, conservation, the environment, the economy and future sustainability; understands that, in 2017, following the publication of a discussion paper and a period of community consultation and engagement, the Association published, A Galloway National Park- It’s Our Time, which identified the goal of the proposed park as to promote an attractive and healthy natural and cultural environment that will benefit the communities of Galloway both socially and economically, and offer broader benefits to others, including visitors, and provide a vibrant and sustainable future in which the region’s young people can flourish; recognises that the paper aims to strengthen the argument for the establishment of the national park in the area, ultimately leading to the development of further national parks; understands that, ahead of the COP26 conference, the Scottish Government has committed in its Statement of Intent on Biodiversity for an additional 7.3% of land to be designated as protected to meet the proposed UN 2030 target; considers that a Galloway national park could provide an ideal opportunity to help achieve this; believes that national parks, and protected outdoor green spaces, provide opportunities for people to access the outdoors and try new activities; considers that they promote positive health and wellbeing that can reduce stress, depression and help address physical health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes as part of a social prescribing approach; thanks the Association and its Chair, Rob Lucas, and President, Dame Barbara Kelly, for their work so far on this issue, and notes calls for the Scottish Government to set out, in principle, its position on a national park for Galloway, which could proudly be Scotland’s third national park.

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