Dynamic backdrop for Land Use event

Published Friday, 30th November 2018 in Research news

Roseanna cunningham msp cabinet secretary for environment climate change and land reform
Roseanna Cunningham addresses the Land Use Conference at Dynamic Earth

A visitor attraction that celebrates the changing face of the planet was an appropriate venue for Scotland’s Biennial Land Use and Environment Conference.

More than 180 delegates descended on Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh for the 12th staging of the event, which was this year entitled Rewarding the Delivery of Public Goods: How to Achieve this in Practice?.

Organised by SRUC, together with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Forest Research, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Environment, Food & Agricultural Research Institutes (SEFARI), the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the conference took place over two days and a series of fascinating presentations led to discussion and debate relating to the three key themes:

  • Theme 1: What type of environmental public goods should be prioritised for delivery by land managers in the future?
  • Theme 2: How can land managers be encouraged and helped to deliver those public goods effectively?
  • Theme 3: What mechanisms are available for rewarding land managers for the provision of public goods?

In addition to a ministerial address from Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, speakers included David Baldock from the Institute of European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Jon Westlake from the Welsh Government and Anna Brand from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

SRUC’s Professor Davy McCracken, principal organiser of the conference, said: “This excellent conference considered what payment mechanisms could be put in place to ensure that land managers are recognised and rewarded for providing public goods – the wider benefits to society, such as flood mitigation or biodiversity enhancement – that arise from their land management practices.

“The key take-home message from the conference was that it is essential to work closely with land managers when developing such payment mechanisms. There was strong support from conference attendees for the establishment of a range of trials in Scotland, building on the lessons learned from existing approaches in Costa Rica and Ireland.”

The next conference is scheduled to take place in 2020.

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