Now six months old, the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland (ERCS) has applied to the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, and all the members of LINK’s Legal Strategy Group have agreed to be the new organisation’s first charitable trustees when our application is approved, hopefully later this year. We also hope to be able to announce the names of ERCS’s first office-bearers before too long.
A further strategy session recently considered ERCS’s programme on Advocacy in Policy and Law Reform, and how it fits with LINK’s wider governance and advocacy work and the previous work of the Legal Strategy Group. As part of this programme, ERCS helped Planning Democracy to challenge some of the temporary changes to planning rules rushed through by the Scottish Government in response to the Covid-19 crisis, which we think are likely reduce public participation in the short term.
We are now monitoring other Covid-related relaxations in environmental regulation and enforcement, such as those introduced by SEPA, and would like to hear from LINK members about any similar measures that involve suspending or postponing environmental laws or standards in response to the pandemic, as well as any that are environmentally beneficial, and any impacts on your work as a result of such measures. Please contact us with examples.
As Scotland moves towards incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) are this month hosting a series of webinars on the State of Children’s Rights in Scotland. ERCS will be facilitating a breakout session on children’s rights and environmental health as part of the last webinar on Disability, Basic Health and Welfare.
The webinars will identify progress, where improvements are needed and any emerging issues surrounding children’s rights in Scotland. Findings from the webinars will inform a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. See below for details of each webinar and how you can register your interest:
- Family Environment and Alternative Care (22 June)
- Civil Rights and Freedoms (24 June)
- Education, Leisure and Culture (29 June)
- Special Protection Measures (30 June)
- Violence Against Children (1 July)
- Disability, Basic Health and Welfare (2 July)
We have started piloting casework systems in preparation for the launch of our Advice Service when the ERCS website goes live next month, and as part of our Public Education programme, we have produced another information sheet, on ‘Access to environmental information: the importance of the European framework’.