January ended with Fin being invited by the Scottish Wildlife Trust to take part in a climate change webinar as one of 3 keynote speakers.
The event was organised by the trusts Young Leaders group and the whole event was recorded for the Trust’s YouTube channel:
Fin really enjoyed the chance to get over some the points that are important to young people when talking about the issue if climate change. He is hopeful when he is old enough to perhaps become an SWT Young leader too.
Over the last few months Fin has been taking part in an ECO UNESCO sponsored Environmental Youth Summit. This has seen groups of young people, aged 13 – 25, from Ireland, Spain and Scotland, who live in designated Biosphere regions, meeting to chat and create projects which reflect the issues important to them, particularly in relation to where they live. Finlay presented a PowerPoint of his groups findings, titled ‘On The Same Wavelength’, to a panel of environmental experts which was very well received.
Following on from the success of Fin’s contribution to the Coastal Futures 21 conference where he gave a talk in the ‘Youth voices for ocean recovery’ slot he was approached in February by the anti-pollution charity Surfers Against Sewage and invited, along with 5 other young people, to form a Youth Advisory panel to help create a Youth Ocean and Climate summit. The plan was to invite 100 young people, aged 11 – 18, from all over the UK to take part in a one-day conference on World Ocean Day, 8th June during the week that the G7 summit was taking place in Cornwall.
Each of the 6 panel members gave a keynote speech at the conference and also facilitated one of the six workshops to discuss the issues in more depth. The aim of the summit was to produce a clear and impactful manifesto outlining key, innovative solutions that will combat the ocean and climate crisis. The headlines of the manifesto were presented by the six youth activists to an assembled group of high -profile leaders and decision makers, including George Eustice MP and Allegra Stratton (Boris Johnson’s spoke person for COP26), live and direct at the end of the day.
The hope is that the manifesto will be written up and presented, hopefully by Youth Panel members, to the assembled world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow.
Fin thoroughly enjoyed his trip to Cornwall to take part in the summit. Having spent over a year doing lots of Zoom calls and on-line chat it was great to finally get out and meet people again. While there he and Ella took part in the FFFUK organised G7 summit climate strike, marching around the streets of Falmouth with several hundred other climate activists. The first large strike since the COVID epidemic started. It was great to be back on the streets, meet young people and feel the energy that such a positive event creates.
He particularly enjoyed taking part in the unique Surfers Against Sewage paddle out on the Saturday in Falmouth organised to remind the G7 leaders of the critical role the oceans play in all our lives. They even brought along a huge inflatable shark! Fin managed to bump into Seaspiracy documentary maker Ali Tabrezi on the beach during the paddle out and spend a few minutes chatting about the problems facing our oceans and of course sharks. A special moment, captured at the top of this post.
Whilst at the paddle out Fin did a bit of filming for SKY getting his thoughts on the event and his views on ocean issues. This resulted in his appearance on SKY FYI, their weekend children’s news channel – similar to BBC Newsround.
Talking of TV appearances Finlay also appeared on BBC Countryfile on the 9 May in a piece featuring the issues with the proposed Sutherland Rocket site near Melness. Something he has been campaigning against now for a couple of years.
At the beginning of April Fin was invited to give a talk at the RSPB DolphinFest in Aberdeen. Having really enjoyed attending the event physically a couple of years ago he was really pleased to be asked to contribute to the event, doubly so as Thomas Truby (The Rubbish Club) was also invited to give a talk. Fin’s talk was titled ‘The importance of the oceans and the effects of climate change’
Fin also contributed a ‘Youth Voices’ article to the 2021 summer/autumn edition of the RSPB Natures Voice magazine talking about the oceans for which he received lots of lovely positive feedback.
The latest on-line edition of Ocean Heroes Bootcamp took place over 3 days at the end of June. Having attended the event in Vancouver, Canada back in 2018 Fin has continued to attend the on-line versions each year. It was lovely to see lots of familiar faces albeit virtually. This year he was invited by the organisers to host an Instagram live to promote the event and tell new attendees what they could expect from the conference. They enjoyed his contribution so much that he has been approached to write a series of articles for the Ocean Heroes Wake magazine.
After much delay Fin’s grant funding from the Youth Activist Summit has now been received by his nominated charity so he is looking forward to getting involved with that shortly. One other project which was delayed due to COVID but is now going ahead is the ‘Get Your Skates On’ artwork commissioned by Christian Aid Scotland. The work for this project took place back in 2019 but it is hoped that finally it will be possible to have the picture displayed at COP26 in Glasgow.
Here’s link to the project for more info : Get your skates on – Christian Aid