I’ve been asked many times if I think that conservation has a future. There are some environmental issues that aren’t always clear cut, and at times it can be difficult to express the benefits of protecting our environment due to background noise.

Greta Thunberg (c) Anders Hellberg
Greta Thunberg (c) Anders Hellberg

Additional pressures from large companies who lobby politicians to curb environmental protections for the benefit of the economy, often only look at their needs and requirements and not the big picture. Their arguments tend to be one sided without consideration for the negative impact they have on the natural world.

And then a young girl speaks up and does the impossible.

The whole world is talking about Greta Thunburg. At the age of 15 this young girl decided to hold a strike one Friday afternoon outside the Swedish Parliament to get politicians to listen and take action to mitigate climate change. They are not the only ones listening, this one young girl’s action has created a movement around the world.

Arguably, this one young girl has done more in the past few months than any politician or scientist has been able to in a decade. Those in power were not listening to the scientists, but they have to listen to over one million children around the world who care and are fighting for their future and their planet.

Cumbernauld Living Landscape has been working with many of the town’s young people to help them discover the environment around them. It’s a privilege to watch youngsters who lack confidence and social skills blossom through spending time outdoors, learning new skills, and helping nature.

Our young people are leading the way, they are the new storm and they are not going away. So do I believe that conservation has a future? Yes I do, and it is the next generation that gives me hope.

Tracy Lambert