Scotland's Premier Agriculture and Environment Conference 2016 - Conference Programme

Theme 4: How does policy landscape need to change to help a move to more sustainable farming systems involving greater integration of other land uses?

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Keynote: Regulating for success
Terry A'Hearn, SEPA

Terry A'Hearn has over twenty years’ experience in the environment profession, having held senior roles in Melbourne with the Environment Protection Authority in the Australian state of Victoria, in London with the global consulting firm WSP and, most recently, in Belfast as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency before he joined SEPA.  In all this work, Terry has strongly focussed on bringing environmental and economic aims together, supporting business and social innovation and getting tougher with the worst environmental performers.  Terry is a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Footprint Network and a Fellow of the UK Institute of Directors.

Decluttering or repurposing? How best to tidy up a confusing policy landscape
Pete Ritchie, Nourish Scotland

Profile: Pete Ritchie

Integrating farming in to future land use through taking an Ecosystems Approach:  ‘learning by doing’ in the Scottish Borders
Chris Spray, The University of Dundee

Chris is currently living a double (at least!) life as Professor of Water Science and Policy at Dundee University’s UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science and as a Research Fellow for the Natural Environment Research Council, working in Cardiff 3 days/week advising the Welsh Government on improving the transfer of science in to policy and vice-versa. A previous Director of Science for SEPA and, prior to that the Director of Environment for Northumbrian Water, Chris has worked on (and occasionally in!) the Tweed in many guises (including Swan ringer, Research scientist, River restoration enthusiast, Storyteller and Chairman of Tweed Forum) for over 25 years. For the last two years, wearing these and indeed other ‘hats’, he has been one of the team leading the Scottish Borders Land Use Strategy pilot.

Audit of supply and commodity chains frames the benefits of farming for economic, social and environmental sustainability
Richard Aspinall

Profile: Richard Aspinall

A diversity of conservation objectives: looking back or forward?
Des Thompson/Jenny Johnson, Scottish Natural Heritage

From the Highland village of Culrain, Des took his PhD (and later DSc) at Nottingham University, publishing his postgraduate research as a textbook on the behavioural ecology of farmland bird flocks.  After holding a Liverpool University Fellowship, he moved to the Nature Conservancy Council to begin upland conservation work for the government and its agencies.  With SNH, he is the principal adviser on biodiversity, and chairs several national and international groups.  Publishing widely and collaboratively, his books cover birds of prey, shorebirds, mountain and moorland ecology, and the state of nature.  He is Chairman of the Field Studies Council, the UKs leading provider of outdoor environmental education, a Senior Research Fellow at Hatfield College, Durham University, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Jenny has a background in ecological sciences and forestry and also holds a PhD in the social sciences from Edinburgh University. She worked at DFID, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, respectively, before joining Scottish Natural Heritage in 2000. Her work has covered the development and management of SNH’s Natural Care scheme, agricultural policy and the Scotland Rural Development Programme. She was editor of Scottish Forestry for a number of years, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and is also a Director of Beechbrae - a new environmental and social enterprise in West Lothian.

From here to sustainability: how future policy reform must drive transformational change in our farming, food and land use systems
Vicki Swales, RSPB

Vicki Swales is Head of Land Use Policy for RSPB Scotland where she is responsible for overseeing the RSPB’s policy advocacy work on agriculture, fresh water and climate change and land use issues. She has worked for RSPB Scotland for the past 6 years and prior to that worked for the Institute for European Environmental Policy and later as a freelance land use policy consultant. Vicki has a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture from the University of North Wales, Bangor and an MSc in Natural Resource Management from Edinburgh University. She was a non-executive Director on the Board of Assured Food Standards (2001-2008) and has contributed to a number of initiatives and advisory groups including the Taskforce for the Hills, Woodland Expansion Advisory Group and the IUCN Peatland Inquiry. 

Vicki lives near Loch Leven with her partner and during her free time enjoys cooking, cycling and exploring Scotland by campervan. 

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