Opening Doors: an autumn of hot debate

News just in from Francis Kahembwe, our Opening Doors participant, who is beginning a two month placement with Scottish Environment Link. That means (apart from climbing a lot of stairs to the office in the wonderful tower building on the Royal Mile) a fascinating glimpse of what it is like to be an environmental lobbyist. As Francis explains in his email, the first week started with the hottest issue of the moment, Climate Change…

“I started on the shadowing programme at Scottish Link last Wednesday. A desk and computer have been organised for me. On Wednesday we went through the monitoring system where they check what is happening at the Scottish Parliament on a daily basis and filter out those issues relevant to environment. I also had chance to read through the pack of information for the Link Climate change meeting that was scheduled for Thursday the next day in Perth.”

Many thanks to LINK for providing this exciting development for Francis who began by shadowing Sarah Boyack Labour spokesman on the Environment and Rural Affairs in the Scottish Parliament. As luck had it, his first day coincided with the Climate Change debate. Now, thanks to Scottish Environment Link, he gets a chance to see how policy and debate may be influenced by environmental agencies.

We are really delighted to get such enthusiastic support from LINK which is the forum for Scotland’s 33 voluntary agencies, covering a wide range of interests (from bats, birds and bumblebees to whales and snails; from ramblers associations and national heritage organisations to friends of the earth).

Francis will spend up to two days a week in the Edinburgh LINK office learning about the work of Susan Guest, Parliamentary Administration Officer and Eilidh Macpherson, Parliamentary Officer as they co-ordinate parliamentary briefings on such very topical issues as marine conservation and climate change.

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