Rural and Environment

  • The EU has been a good friend to rural Scotland

    31st January 2020 by

    The EU has been a good friend to rural Scotland. For the whole of the Scottish Parliament’s lifetime, the rural economy has benefitted from our membership. Over the years, our engagement with it has allowed Scotland to push our case on everything from agriculture and fisheries policy reform, to fishing quotas and forestry. Scotland has had a voice in the room – a room we will no longer be able to enter.

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  • In the news: Land use report

    23rd January 2020 by

    You may have seen coverage in the media around the UK Committee on Climate Change’s latest report into Land Use. The report states that land use must change to meet the UK's net zero target. Although it is possible to reduce the emission of Greenhouse Gases in ways that are consistent with other strategic priorities for land - such as food production and biodiversity - the current UK & Devolved Administration policy frameworks for food production, forestry, and environment will not achieve the net zero target and must change significantly. The Scottish Government’s response is below.

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  • In the news: Circular Economy Bill

    21st January 2020 by

    You may have seen in The Scotsman today an opinion piece from James MacKenzie regarding our proposals for a Circular Economy Bill. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A thriving circular economy presents enormous economic and industrial opportunities for Scotland, as well as significant environmental benefits. For our journey towards becoming a net-zero society to be...

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  • Start planning for your low carbon future

    17th January 2020 by

    2019 will be remembered as the year that Scotland took a stand on the global climate emergency and saw the introduction of our new world-leading climate change legislation. This sets a target date for Scotland to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045. This means that our contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within one generation. This transition will be for the benefit of our environment, our people, now and in the future. Let me be clear though, achieving this will require additional effort and will present challenges and opportunities, including for farming and food production. It is indisputable that our…

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  • Alternative Christmas with the National Chef

    11th December 2019 by

    Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon (left) with Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef (right)

    This Christmas Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, is encouraging people to consider making something new and tasty with Scottish produce. If you are looking for some inspiration why not try making marinated Scotch Lamb, smoked haddock croquettes or a spicy carrot cake by following Gary’s alternative Christmas recipes? Gigot of Scotch Lamb marinated in mustard,...

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  • In the news: mechanical dredging trials

    11th December 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news or on social media discussion about mechanical dredging trials. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “No mechanical dredging trials have been commissioned or are planned. The Seaweed review group has agreed for the need for a desk study to consider what any appropriate pilot study approach could be. However,...

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  • In the news: Beach clean

    28th November 2019 by

    You may have seen in the media today (Guardian, BBC) that the Marine Conservation Society has released the results of its most recent Great British Beach Clean. In Scotland, the results show it was another record-breaking year, with more beach cleans taking place and more volunteers getting involved than ever before. The survey found that 7,669 kg of litter was removed from the Scottish coastline as a result of their efforts.

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  • Building environmental diplomacy on a Chief Scientific Advisor’s research exchange

    21st November 2019 by

    By Professor Andrew Millar, Chief Scientific Advisor, Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture From the salt pans of the Atacama to a slice of the Antarctic, Chile stretches as far around the Earth’s latitude as any other country. Its striking diversity of life was what interested the biologists in our delegation from the University of Edinburgh,...

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  • In the news: Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme

    12th November 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news today that the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform committee is taking evidence on Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We continue to make progress with plans to implement our ambitious Deposit Return Scheme as part of our response to the global climate emergency. “A...

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  • Supporting communities on our journey to net-zero

    11th November 2019 by

    Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham Two weeks ago, our new Climate Change Bill received Royal Assent. We now have, in law, by far the most stringent climate legislation of any country in the world. Our journey to net-zero emissions will require different and more difficult choices than has been the case to date and it...

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