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International academics gather to discuss Scottish land reform in a global context

Land reform experts in attendance (c) James Hutton Institute
“The workshop will develop a rich discourse regarding how Scotland compares and contrasts with processes of land reform across the world”

Allocation of land rights and struggles for access to land and natural resources are common worldwide. The rise of land reform on the political agenda following Scottish devolution in 1999 is commonly attributed to the relatively unregulated nature of Scottish land sales, and the concentration of private land ownership has implications for sustainable rural development.

Today, Scotland is considered a global pioneer in community land ownership, and the only country with a ‘Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement’. However, the question arises as to how the drivers and policy responses for land reform in Scotland relate to international experiences, and therefore what lessons we can learn from a global land reform dialogue.

The James Hutton Institute will this week host a group of international academics and practitioners for a knowledge exchange workshop, to develop an understanding from international experiences and examples of land reform processes. The workshop is funded by the Macaulay Development Trust (MDT), which supports research into the sustainable use of land and natural resources, in alignment with Trust objectives.

The workshop will be held on 5th and 6th March in Aberdeen and will include participants from the US, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, as well as the UK. Representatives of the Scottish Land Commission and the Scottish Government will also be in attendance.

John A. Lovett, De Van D. Daggett Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, is travelling all the way from New Orleans, Louisiana to share his research on the Community Land Trust Movement in the United States. “I have always benefitted enormously from interactions with Scottish academics over the course of my career,” says Lovett.

"Visits to Scotland have been a huge influence on my research. In turn, I have tried to share my understanding of developments in Scottish Land Reform with legal academics in the United States. I have found that my colleagues in the U.S. are both fascinated and inspired by all of the innovative land reform work going on in Scotland,” he adds.

Workshop project leader Dr Annie McKee, a social researcher at the James Hutton Institute, is excited about learning from leading international academics with diverse and detailed knowledge of global land reform processes. “The workshop will develop a rich discourse regarding how Scotland compares and contrasts with processes of land reform across the world”, says Dr McKee.

“We will share this discussion with key Scottish land policymakers, therefore we hope it will contribute to positive future developments and the success of policy interventions”.

Further details regarding this workshop can be found by contacting Dr Annie McKee at the James Hutton Institute.

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Printed from /news/international-academics-gather-discuss-scottish-land-reform-global-context on 06/12/23 02:13:07 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.