The Power of Shared Island Perspectives
Scottish Islands Federation have partnered with Strathclyde Centre for Environmenmtal Law & Governance (SCELG), as well as Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre to bring the voices of young islanders to COP26 through the Message in a Bottle project.
Over the last few weeks school pupils from Sandness, Shetland to the Solomon Islands have been taking part in climate science and clean energy workshops. After doing the workshops, children discussed and wrote their messages to COP26, and Scottish schools did a beach clean to salvage plastic bottles (and other marine waste). These bottles will be sent along with the children’s messages to Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in North Uist where the team there will produce a film and sculpture for the project.
We spoke to Bethany Walsh who has been leading on the project to get her thoughts on the project so far:
“It’s been amazing to hear what young islanders have to say to political leaders about climate change. As an islander, I can see a younger version of myself in their messages, and I hope that we can continue to inspire a generation of young climate activists.”
“Even primary school children are worried about the climate emergency and understand that sea-level rise, increased storm intensity and frequency, and coastal erosion are affecting them directly.”
“Having welcomed over 30 schools from islands in Scotland and internationally, I hope that the power of their shared island perspectives can reach a worldwide audience at COP26.”
There are several events being held in connection with the project and we’d encourage you to join in:
Message in a Bottle: Young Islanders, COP26 and Children’s Rights to a Health Ocean @ COY16, 10-11am, Friday 29th October
Taking place at COY16 on Friday 29th October, 10-11am, this event is jointly hosted by SCELG and the One Ocean Hub, and will focus on the voices of young people in climate change discussions. In particular, coastal and young islanders are considered within the context of COP26 and rights to a healthy ocean. Join us for an interactive session involving panel discussions, short film screenings, and group reflections. Find out how to register here.
Climate Change Message in a Bottle: Messages from Scottish and International Island Schoolchildren to COP26 @ Online, 10-11am, Wednesday 3rd November
This online event is kindly co-hosted by Island Innovation, and will take place on Wednesday 3rd November, 10-11am. At this event, we will be hosting a screening of the project’s film, which showcases messages from young islanders around the world to COP26. After watching the short film, you will hear directly from several islanders who have been involved in the project, and participating schools will have the opportunity to ask questions to climate experts. Finally, we will hear from notable politicians and experts in response to messages from young islanders. Find out how to join this event here.
Climate Change Message in a Bottle: Bringing the Voices of Scottish and International Young Islanders to COP26 @ Sustainable Glasgow Landing, 10-11am, Monday 8th November
Join us at the Sustainable Glasgow Landing Hub for an in-person showcase of the Climate Change Message in a Bottle project. At this event, we will be hosting a screening of the project’s film, which showcases messages from young islanders around the world to COP26. After watching the short film, you will hear directly from several young islanders who have been involved in the project. We are pleased to announce that MSP Clare Haughey, Minister for Children and Young People, will speak at this event in response to the children’s messages. Finally, audience members will have the chance to discuss the messages and leave a response themselves. Find out more about this event here.
Glasgow Science Centre Film Screenings @ Green Zone, throughout COP26
The project is also excited to announce that there will be regular screenings of the Climate Change Message in a Bottle film at Glasgow Science Centre, in the Green Zone at COP26. You can register for events in the Green Zone here.
Climate Change Message in a Bottle project film by Taigh Cearsabhagh will be available here.
The interactive map will be available here.
Thanks to contributions from UistFilm, Taigh Chearsabhagh, Island Innovation, Youth Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Science Centre, and the Scottish Government.