Rural and Environment

  • 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 agricultural industry has a vital role to play in tackling climate change. Indeed I have been clear for many years that farming and food production are part of the solution.

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  • Women in Agriculture

    15th October 2019 by

    It has been a privilege to co-Chair the Scottish Government’s Women in Agriculture Taskforce.

    It is mostly made up of women, though a few men are also involved.

    They have a range of backgrounds, but all of them have an interest and a stake in the future of farming and food production. They all have real life experience, knowledge and skills to share.

    In particular, I want to pay tribute to the drive, energy and enthusiasm of my co-Chair Joyce Campbell. She has been key to the taskforce’s success.

    But….

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  • In the News: £160 million returned to Scotland

    5th September 2019 by

    You will have seen in the news that in yesterday’s Spending Round statement at Westminster, that the Chancellor finally confirmed that the UK Government would right a historic injustice around EU farm payments.

    In 2013, the EU announced moves to pay Common Agricultural Policy payments more fairly, on the basis of average Euros per hectare. The UK received what was known as a convergence uplift only because of Scotland.

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  • In the news: Scottish Agriculture

    31st July 2019 by

    The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee has published a report into the future of Scottish agriculture, which is running widely in the media today.

    The Committee argues that Brexit presents an opportunity to address failings in the agriculture funding formula, which has led to Scottish farms and crofts receiving low levels of funding.

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  • Farming and the climate emergency

    21st May 2019 by

    Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon blogs on farming and the global climate emergency.

    The First Minister has declared a global climate emergency. The evidence is irrefutable and the science is compelling. People are clear, they expect action and the world needs to act now, not least for future generations.

    We are leading this response. This was made clear when we acted immediately to the advice of the Committee on Climate Change by lodging amendments to our Climate Change Bill to set a 2045 target for net zero emissions.

    Just last week another warning was issued about the damage humans are causing to our natural environment this time in relation to global biodiversity. But there is nothing to be gained from playing a blame game nor from singling out any one sector.

    So I am equally clear, that farming should not be held up as the problem. It is part of the solution.

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  • This week: 15/03/19

    15th March 2019 by

    Pass It On Week Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland visited Perth Toy Library to see how re-use benefits the local community and tackles waste. Agri-tourism monitor farms Two farms have been selected to develop their food tourism business and encourage others to follow their example. Working with other…

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  • This week: 01/03/19

    1st March 2019 by

    Beavers given protected status The Eurasian or European beaver will be added to the list of European Protected Species of Animals, protected under Scottish law. This means that from 1 May 2019 shooting will only be allowed under licence, which will be managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). All licenses will be issued in accordance…

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  • In the news: EAT-Lancet Report

    17th January 2019 by

    As you may have seen in the news (BBC, Guardian) today, the EAT-Lancet Commission has published a report, which looks at addressing the need to feed a growing global population a healthy diet, while also defining sustainable food systems that will minimise damage to our planet. The report describes a universal healthy diet, based on…

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  • In the news: Farmers on the frontline of climate change

    27th December 2018 by

    You may have seen in the news today that WWF Scotland are calling on the Scottish Government to provide greater leadership and support to Scotland’s farmers to help them adapt to the challenges of a rapidly changing climate. This comes as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming called for…

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  • Stability and Simplicity: Proposals for a rural funding transition period

    16th November 2018 by

    For the whole of the Scottish parliament’s lifetime, farm policy and support in Scotland has been determined by membership of the EU, and more specifically CAP. With the UK’s decision to leave the EU, there is no doubt that the year ahead will be difficult. That is why the Scottish Government has made it clear…

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