Background: The First Highland Charter

The Highland Climate Charter was first developed by the Highland Adapts Community Climate Advocates Group in 2022 for the first Highland Climate Festival. The aim of this charter was to raise awareness of climate change, to build momentum across Highland, and to celebrate the work that individuals, communities, organisations, and businesses are doing to create a prosperous, climate-ready region.

The Highland Charter for Climate, Nature, and Health

In May 2024, alongside the Highland Environment ForumHighlands and Islands Climate Hub, and Highland Green Health Partnership, we are proud to be relaunching the charter with an expanded focus and even more ambitious aims.

The Highland Charter for Climate, Nature, and Health is a pledge to put climate, nature, and the benefits of green and blue health at the centre of decision-making and action, so that the natural environment and people have improved health, wellbeing, and resilience. It builds upon the previous Highland Climate Charter by bringing together three elements that are essential for the wellbeing of the planet and people.

Launch Event

On May 14th, we launched the new charter at the Inverness Botanical Gardens. Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland’s Director of Public Health, opened the event. According to Tim, “it is imperative that we work together to nurture and protect the natural environments that keep us well. This Charter gives us a chance to commit to ourselves and each other, and provides a platform that means we all continue to enjoy and care for the wonderful nature that surrounds us.”

After introducing the charter, attendees split into groups to discuss what they are doing and what they can do in the future to support climate action, nature, and health in the Highlands. Attendees then moved to a tea and coffee reception where they could put their own pledge on a pledge tree.

How can you get involved?

Signing the charter demonstrates commitment to contributing to Highland becoming a region where:

  • Businesses, public bodies, third sector organisations, communities and individuals are committed to, and engaged in, making a just transition towards net zero and supporting a climate ready Scotland.
  • Our responsibility to care for the natural environment is recognised and acted on, so that our habitats, ecosystems and species are diverse, thriving, resilient and adapting to climate change.
  • The natural environment is valued as essential for people’s health and wellbeing. Individuals and communities are able to connect with and enjoy nature wherever they live.

The Charter is for everyone, including businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals. Signing the Charter shows a commitment to its broad vision and gives an undertaking to work towards a Highland that is in good health for climate, nature and people.

When you sign the Charter, you commit to take at least one action that is positive for climate, nature and health, and will report back to us each year on how you are meeting that commitment.

  • Some of the ways in which charter signatories will contribute to these ambitious aims are by:
  • Contributing to a just transition that reduces our impact on climate and adapts to future change
  • Caring for Highland nature, so that habitats, ecosystems and species are thriving, resilient and adapting to climate change
  • Promoting the benefits of nature and the outdoors for people’s health and wellbeing
  • Providing access to green and blue natural health opportunities for all

Visit the charter’s website to learn more and to sign the charter.