Rural and Environment

  • 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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  • In the news: climate change and business

    24th December 2018 by

    Findings released by World Wildlife Foundation Scotland today suggests that small to medium-sized businesses feel less prepared for the risks of climate change compared to larger businesses.

    The survey of 300 businesses shows that only 2 in 5 of Scotland’s smaller firms feel prepared for risks posed by climate change, while over three-quarters of larger businesses stated they are either fully or partly prepared.

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  • In the news: UK waste strategy

    18th December 2018 by

    You will no doubt have seen that many news outlets are running the a story this morning that the UK Government has published its Resources and Waste Strategy, which places more responsibility on manufacturers and producers to pay recycling and disposal costs.

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  • In the news: Marine litter

    29th November 2018 by

    This morning the Marine Conservation Society published its 25th Great British Beach Clean – a mass participation beach clean and survey event – that found there’s more litter on Scottish beaches than last year.

    The beach clean, which took place in September, saw volunteers remove 2,503kg of litter from Scottish beaches. In total, more than 75,000 items were picked up along the 15,680 meters of surveyed coastline, and found that cotton bud sticks at their highest level for eight years.

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  • In the news: Red meat levy success

    16th November 2018 by

    The Scottish Government and industry – particularly QMS and Jim McLaren, its recently retired Chairman – have worked tirelessly for the last decade to find a sustainable solution that would ensure that the monies raised through this levy could be used to benefit the Scottish quality meat sector, including marketing and promotion of Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and specially selected pork to consumers at home and abroad.

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  • Coverage on UK Agriculture Bill

    13th November 2018 by

    Today, various media outlets are running a piece calling on the Scottish and UK Government’s to break the “current political log-jam” on how to agree future policy, financial frameworks and repatriation of agriculture powers.

    The pieces call for “meaningful progress” to be made on the legal mechanisms required to make agricultural payments in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, and follows a letter published by NFUS Scotland president Andrew McCornick to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and DEFRA Secretary of State Michael Gove.

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  • Another busy Summer recess

    3rd September 2018 by

    Summer recess provides a welcome opportunity to get out and about in Scotland, attending shows from the Highlands to the South West, visiting communities and businesses and hearing first-hand how things are in our rural economy.

    Every conversation I have, I am struck by the creativity and resilience farmers, crofters and food producers have shown in responding to the challenges this year’s weather have brought. I am truly impressed with the way that people and communities have pulled together to tackle problems and help each other out.

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  • Stability, certainty and simplicity in rural support

    22nd June 2018 by

    “No change is not an option.” However unpalatable that may be to some in rural Scotland, that was one of the conclusions of the Agriculture Champions and a premises echoed by the National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA) recent report. Change is therefore inevitable and we must now decide how radical we wish to be, and importantly, how fast we wish to change.

    I believe our rural businesses and communities deserve a semblance of security and this consultation sets out options to try and achieve this.

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  • Crofting update

    12th April 2018 by

    This government is determined not to allow crofting to be simply a relic of our past: crofting must have a purpose and a role in our present and our future.

    That purpose is to support people to remain on the land and to bring people back to the land, with crofting also playing a role in creating a sustainable and productive environment in which people can live and work. To achieve this, crofting needs an effective regulatory and statutory framework.

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  • Commitment to environmental principles

    6th November 2017 by

    The UK Government should maintain EU environmental principles post Brexit or risk undermining the substantial international progress Scotland has made, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said.

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