As stakeholders representing agriculture and the environment, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and NFU Scotland agree that a sustainable agricultural sector and a thriving natural environment can be mutually supportive of one another.
We also agree that policies for agriculture, the rural economy, and climate change and the environment have in the past combined to give conflicting direction. Champions for Change is a collaborative project to demonstrate that there are real champions within the industry that want to see a powerful change of direction from our current system of land management policies.
We believe that with the right combination of knowledge-exchange within the agricultural industry, input from environmental experts and policy direction from the Scottish Government, there is significant opportunity ahead to make changes in land management that can bring about better outcomes in the face of the climate and biodiversity crises.
The project will:
a) provide a platform to farmers to champion changes which, if scaled up (and appropriately rewarded through future land management policy where necessary) could be transformative.
b) highlight to the Scottish Government that we both want to see:
- Clarity on direction of travel for future agriculture and land management policy from Scottish Government, in terms of what will be expected of land managers in order to deliver environmental and productivity outcomes – particularly in the context of the Green Recovery from Covid-19.
- Commitment to fairer, long-term funding for schemes that deliver environmental benefit to allow farmers to deliver biodiversity and climate targets.
- A commitment to investing in natural capital, genuine environmental improvement and supporting the rural economy play a key role in delivering a Green Recovery from Covid-19.