Archive for September, 2007

Green MSP Welcomes UK’S First “Slow Food” School Lunch

Robin Harper, Green MSP for Lothians, will visit North Berwick High School tomorrow morning, Thursday 27th September at 10am to meet with pupils, teachers and two of East Lothian’ s leading chefs, who, as part of the East Lothian Food Festival, are preparing a 3 course “Slow Food” lunch for the pupils.

Robin Harper said

“The Slow Food movement is growing in this country. In countries with a great food culture, such as France and Italy, ‘slow food’ is a real part of the culture. People make time for proper meals, and don’t constantly snack ‘on the hoof’. The benefits to health, personal and social well-being, and relationships are well-documented. Slow Food is sustainable food, eating locally produced produce where possible, reducing food miles and promoting local businesses. It’s great to see young people being given the opportunity to get involved in the experience of slow food.”

The lunch will be created wherever possible, from locally sourced produce, and will be served to pupils by sixth year students.


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Cramond Beach Clean-up: Greens Highlight Need For A Marine Bill

Robin Harper MSP will today visit Cramond Beach in Edinburgh to support the Adopt a Beach clean-up organised by the Marine Conservation Society.

Robin Harper MSP this week lodged a Parliamentary motion urging MSPs not to ignore the plight of Scotland’s seas by urging the Scottish Government to develop a Scottish Marine Bill as a matter of urgency.

Robin Harper said

“Beach clean-ups always attract a good turnout proving that people value and appreciate their local marine environment and wildlife. It’s a fun and worthwhile event that encourages everyone to do their bit to look after their environment.”

“The Scottish Government has made no commitment to introduce a Scottish Marine Bill in the next 12 months. A Bill needs to be developed as a matter of urgency to ensure that our marine environment is protected for future generations.”

Adopt-a-Beach and Beachwatch are coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment.

Robin Harper said

“There is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each a square mile of ocean, 100,000 marine mammals die each year because of plastic. A huge proportion of this is thrown of ships or blown off the land and beaches, as if the threat of climate change is not enough our thoughtless dropping of litter not just on beaches but on the streets of our cities is seriously damaging our marine environment with a threat which does not bio-degrade or sink or go away. If we don’t change our ways in 40 years time there could be as much as 100,000 bits of plastic per square mile of ocean. This is why it is so important to keep drawing attention to the problem and I commend the MSC and Beachwatch for the work they do every year.”

Greens have been at the forefront of campaigning to block the ship-to-ship oil transfer threat in the Firth of Forth and successfully persuaded the SNP government to improve the law governing the assessment of major projects that threaten
valuable marine areas.

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Harper Praises Benefits of Allotments

On Thursday 13th September, during Scottish Food Fortnight, Green Lothians MSP Robin Harper will co-host a reception in the Scottish Parliament for Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society promoting their report Growing Scotland. Others involved in the evening, which aims to show the many social and health benefits of allotments and gardening, include Keep Scotland Beautiful and Eco-Schools. MSPs from all five Parliamentary parties will speak on the positive impact of allotments and gardening on health, biodiversity, environment, education and the economy.

Robin Harper MSP said,

“The benefits of allotments to the community are beyond doubt. They provide for greater biodiversity, valuable experiences for children and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to benefit from working with the land. There are hundreds of people in Edinburgh who would love to have an allotment and cannot get one. I call upon the City of Edinburgh Council to review land use within the city and to do everything they can through temporary or permanent arrangements to meet this demand and to protect existing sites from developers.”

All allotment sites in Edinburgh are fully occupied and currently there is a waiting list of over 1000. Some sites have a waiting period of 7 years due to demand in the area.
Robin Harper said,

“The awareness of seasonal locally produced food that having an allotment brings is immensely valuable. Tending to an allotment supports a healthy body and mind and benefits the environment in many ways, for example reducing food miles to a minimum.”

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Robin Greets World Harmony Runners

Green MSP Robin Harper will meet a team of runners from the world’s longest relay run at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday morning (12th September) at 11.30am.

The World Harmony Run, now an annual event, passes through more than 80 countries around the globe and touches hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Runners carry a flaming Olympic-style torch which is passed from hand to hand as a symbol of oneness, harmony and peace between individuals, communities and nations.

Anyone can participate in the run, by carrying the torch a few steps or a few miles, or even just by holding it and offering goodwill and a spirit of oneness. During their time on the road, the runners will stop off at schools, working with teachers and pupils across the country to share the ideals of world harmony in school curricula. They will also meet community groups and leaders to recognise their activities promoting goodwill at the grassroots level. The Run does not seek to raise money or promote any political cause; its aim is to strengthen international friendship.

Robin Harper said,

“With schools and community groups in so many different countries being involved, the Run truly does link people together. The need for greater understanding across political, social and cultural borders has perhaps never been so great as it is today.”

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