"Species Champions" from Scottish Environment LINK

The initiative was launched by Scottish Environment LINK’s Wildlife Forum in January 2013 – the Year of Natural Scotland - and continues to invite all MSPs to choose from  our list of species that are currently facing significant threats to their future – and then champion their survival. MSPs were encouraged to find out about the species they champion and make a video about why they feel this species is important.

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Why we liked it from a Common Cause perspective

It focuses on the natural world & it’s experiential. The experience of learning about an animal first hand and recording a video about it is likely to engage the beauty and connection with nature (universalism values).

It connects with power creatively. It encourages people in positions of power to think deeply about an issue, in a creative way, rather than assuming that politicians can only be talked to using the language of power.

Could it be improved?

Yes - nothing’s perfect!

It could pull back a bit on the threat angle. Some of the text associated with the campaign perhaps overemphasises threat a little too much - which can actually be demotivating, or orient us towards materialistic or dominating values.

It could steer away from potentially engaging with achievement values. The word ‘champions’ might engage achievement - though the (intrinsic) experience the MSPs have is likely to outweigh this. We might suggest ‘Voice of Species’ or ‘Giving a Voice to...’ instead.

Got an example of best practice you'd like to share? Email me!