Agriculture: Land-use change to tackle climate issues on the agenda

Innovation is needed
Innovation is needed

That was the conclusion of a report by the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) which claimed there was an urgent need for a revolution in Scottish land use.

The report, which was presented to Scottish ministers yesterday, was based on a series of six ‘conversations’ involving designers, architects, businesses, campaigners and the general public – and the eight-point agenda outlined in the document will form the basis of the discussions. during an online conference that will take place on September 6.

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Calling on the Scottish government, councils and landowners to take “urgent and combined action” to tackle the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis, the report said the rapid development of new strategies and plans alongside to reform existing regulations was necessary.

The report also launched SEDA Land, a new forum for SEDA members and land use experts to continue the discussion, seek to influence land use change and monitor progress by the Scottish Government, authorities communities, landowners and businesses in implementing the necessary changes. .

The report, titled A new vision for land use in Scotland, says implementing new strategies for healthy food, agroecology and sustainable places should be combined with enhanced reporting requirements. on land rights and responsibilities as well as climate impact certificates detailing impacts on land use. .

“The…report also calls for continued investment in transport, renewable energy and communications infrastructure across Scotland, as well as seed funding for innovative new businesses,” said Gail Halvorsen , organizer of SEDA events.

“The integrated approach would be underpinned by support for secondary and higher education in creating a climate-aware, motivated and skilled workforce,” she added.

“I felt it was necessary to organize a high-profile event on the future of land use in Scotland given the climate emergency and COP26,” said Halvorsen, who added that the conversations could spark the biggest change in Scottish land use since the agrarian era. revolution.

“Our Land Conversations series provided a platform to discuss ideas and experiences. This report provides an overview of the rich debate sparked at these events and eight recommendations that we believe the Scottish Government needs to implement quickly,” said SEDA Chair Catherine Cosgrove.

Deborah Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, said a sustainable future for Scottish lands could only be built on a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary basis, and through the use of principles that took into account the needs of people, sense of community, place and tradition – “all of which vary from region to region”.

Professor Davy McCracken of SRUC added: “It is clear that a ‘one policy, one result’ approach does not meet the needs of rural areas. What is urgently needed are cross-sectoral policies that are integrated and capable of responding to a wide range of problems.

Teresa H. Sadler