Congratulations to Emily, pupil at Kirkwall Grammar School, for winning the Climate Change Message in a Bottle artwork competition. You can see her illustration above which will feature on the front cover of the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands project progress report, to be released in June 2022.
With the funding and support of the Scottish Government, Climate Change Message in a Bottle brought the voices of young islanders to COP26 after introducing them to climate science and governance. Twenty-five Scottish primary schools participated, alongside six schools across the world. The project’s film, produced by UistFilm at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, was shown at several events during the global climate summit. After COP26, Climate Change Message in a Bottle returned to schools to explain what happened at COP26 and what this may mean for islands.
As part of the ongoing legacy of COP26 in Scotland, and in the context of the National Islands Plan, Climate Change Message in a Bottle returned to participating island schools in 2022. For Scotland’s Year of Stories, young islanders have been creatively exploring their carbon neutral futures through storytelling and artwork. Taking place between January and April 2022, this phase of Climate Change Message in a Bottle involved fourteen primary and secondary schools on islands across Scotland. This resulted in the creation of 140 stories of 2040, alongside 98 illustrations.
We would like to thank Youth Scotland for their collaboration on the project, and for hosting the online gallery of stories and artwork. You can explore this here.
The Climate Change Message in a Bottle report analyses the young islanders’ stories in relation to the strategic objectives of the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan. This provides useful insight into the hopes and aspirations of young islanders across Scotland. It is hoped that organisations across all sectors can make use of their perspectives in planning for the future.
A 16-page zine based on the young islanders’ stories has been created and will be distributed around community centres and youth groups on the islands. This provides accessible introductory information on the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands project in English and Gaelic. You can explore an online, moving version of the zine below!
In addition, Island Innovation have produced an interactive map for Climate Change Message in a Bottle where you can explore messages sent by island schoolchildren to COP26. You can find this here.
Climate Change Message in a Bottle has been a unique opportunity to get young islanders involved in global discussions on climate change, and to recentre islands in environmental decision making in Scotland.
Climate Change Message in a Bottle would not be possible without the funding and support of the Scottish Government, and the collaboration of Scottish Islands Federation, Youth Scotland and Island Innovation.