Social enterprise hailed as world leader by Unesco

Social enterprise hailed as world leader by Unesco
Third Force News, by Robert Armour


A Girvan charity will be hailed as a “world leading social enterprise” at the premiere of a new short film at a major global conference in Peru.


The film, being screened for the first time at Unesco’s 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima on 15 March, focuses on the Adventure Centre for Education (ACE) which is located in Scotland’s only biosphere reserve in Galloway and Southern Ayrhsire. 


Biosphere reserves are areas renowned for their outstanding natural environment and the way in which the local community works to conserve them.


ACE is a social enterprise based encouraging people to make the most of the natural assets of the biosphere through a range of adventurous outdoor pursuits including forest schools, bushcraft, abseiling, mountain biking, hillwalking, canyoning and sea kayaking.


Joan Mitchell, chair of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, said it was a hugely significant achievement to have the charity featured in the film.  


“We are very proud that this film was commissioned for the World Congress of Biosphere Reserves,” she said. “Aptly for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, its screening at such a significant global event highlights a growing awareness of Scotland’s first Unesco Biosphere in Galloway & Southern Ayrshire as a world leader in the innovative sustainable development of social enterprise to promote and protect our outstanding natural environments. 


“Sustainable development has been an overarching goal of the United Nations for decades now, but to respond effectively to new social and environmental challenges it is widely acknowledged that a fresh approach is required. We’re absolutely delighted that our approach in this area is being used as an exemplar to shape the Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025 and benefit outstanding natural environments globally.”


Capturing the stunning unspoilt environment of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, the video is part of an ongoing international initiative supported by the Scottish Government to demonstrate Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in social enterprise.


John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, said: “Unesco’s Biosphere Reserves provide our communities, our children and young people with an opportunity to actively safeguard our natural capital for the future. Social enterprises empower communities to engage with the challenges of our 21st Century such as climate change, health, food and water security.”