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Highland's first climate festival hailed as 'a huge hit' by Caithness councillor Karl Rosie

By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS councillor has described the Highland's first climate festival as "a huge hit" and said it is hoped the event can be "bigger and better next year."

Thurso and northwest Caithness councillor, Karl Rosie, who chairs the local authority's climate change committee, was delighted with the support and positive feedback from the festival which was staged by Highland Adapts and North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub. The event was run by community groups and organisations online and in person.

Highland Adapts is a partnership which brings organisations including Highland Council, NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise together to facilitate transformational climate action while the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub is part of a network funded by the Scottish Government supporting community-led climate action.

The organisers were impressed with the public enthusiasm and were "overwhelmed" by the response.

Caithness councillor Karl Rosie is delighted with the response to the Highland climate festival.
Caithness councillor Karl Rosie is delighted with the response to the Highland climate festival.

Mr Rosie said: "It is brilliant to hear about the support and positive feedback from the first Highland Climate Festival. The council and the wider region’s journey to building awareness around climate change and climate adaptation is at a critical point and it is extremely encouraging to see how motivated individuals are in Highland."

He added: "As last month’s festival was a huge hit across the region, I believe plans are currently in motion to come back bigger and better for next year, with even more events, communities and organisations involved."

Joan Lawrie, project manager at the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub said: "We were delighted to have co-ordinated and funded the first successful Highland Climate Festival. With 22 community groups across the region funded – and over 100 events taking place – the launch of the Highland Community Waste Partnership and Highland Climate Charter during the week, a successful momentum has been built towards positive climate action across Highland. We’re currently collating feedback from the groups involved in staging the festival and looking forward to bringing their ideas into a future festival for 2023."

The organisers also pointed out that there has been "a great response" to the Highland Climate Charter – developed by the Highland Adapts Climate Advocates Team – which launched at the beginning of the festival week. The charter aims to build momentum by raising awareness of climate change and its impacts, through a collaboration of individuals, communities, businesses and organisations working together.

Katie Andrews, climate change co-ordinator at the Highland Council and project support for Highland Adapts, said: "The Highland Adapts team are asking people to sign the Highland Climate Charter and show their support to take meaningful climate action."

The more signatures received, the more people will be encouraged to transform Highland into a prosperous, climate ready region, it was stated.

To find out more about the Highland Climate Charter and how you can sign-up, visit: https://highlandadapts.scot/highland-climate-charter-2/

The festival dates for 2023 are still to be confirmed but already there has been "lots of interest expressed" in taking part in the event.

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