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Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 01:29 GMT 02:29 UK
McConnell's green dream for Scotland
Earth Summit
The Earth Summit is taking place in Johannesburg
Scotland should be leading by example when it comes to preserving the environment, according to the first minister.

Jack McConnell said he was determined that Scots would not "shirk" their responsibilities towards the global movement for action on green issues.

His comments came before he flew out to Johannesburg as part of the UK delegation to the World Summit on sustainable development.

During the visit Mr McConnell will deliver a speech on environmental justice at an international seminar hosted by Friends of the Earth.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell: Learn from each other
Speaking before he travelled, Mr McConnell said: "Sustainable development is about creating a better world for everyone - for today and tomorrow.

"We cannot continue to plunder the world's resources without giving something back and wealthy countries must help poorer nations to plan for their future too.

"I am determined that Scotland will not shirk from our responsibility but this cannot be a solo effort, we must work closely with other nations to share ideas and learn from each other.

"Change will not just happen - if we want to make a difference, we must make it happen."

The first minister said the environment was "not a minority issue" and he wanted to "see Scotland leading by example".

More to do

He added: "The executive is already taking action and we have made progress.

"However, there is much more that remains to be done and I am determined to continue the work to close the gap between those who benefit from a clean, healthy environment and those who do not."

Mr McConnell will undertake a number of official engagements while he is in Johannesburg.

These will include a visit to Soweto's Mountain of Hope - a project where the community is transforming a dumping ground from a no-go area into gardens.

He will also visit Banareng Primary School in Pretoria to promote Scotland's successful eco-schools programme which is now also being introduced in South Africa.


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18 Feb 02 | Scotland
14 Feb 02 | Scotland
16 Jul 01 | Scotland
25 Apr 01 | Scotland
25 May 00 | UK
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