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New report and forum to discuss climate action in Scotland

SEDA report cover
"A sustainable future for Scotland’s land can only be built on a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary basis, and through the use of principles which take into account people’s needs, sense of community, place and tradition"

Urgent and combined actions are needed to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, according to a new report published by the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) and supported by James Hutton Institute scientists. The New Vision for Land Use in Scotland report sets out eight recommendations to tackle the challenges facing biodiversity, food production, renewable energy, health and wellbeing, which will all be discussed in a new forum called SEDA Land, to be presented on Monday 6th September.

The report calls for the rapid development of new strategies and plans alongside reforms to existing regulations and continued investment in innovative businesses, public services and infrastructure.

If implemented, new healthy food, agroecology and sustainable place strategies would be combined with strengthened requirements under the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement as well as Climate Impact Certificates detailing land use impacts.

The document also recommends continued investment in transport, renewable energy and communications infrastructure across Scotland along with seed funding for innovative new businesses.

The integrated approach would be underpinned by support for secondary and tertiary education in creating a climate conscious, motivated and skilled workforce.

In developing the recommendations, SEDA hosted events with nearly 50 of the best-informed speakers on all aspects of rural land use. The experts participated in 6 Conversations with designers, architects, businesses, campaigners and the general public. In all, over 1,250 people took part in the Conversations.

Experts believe that little additional government expenditure is required to deliver such a framework, which would encourage and allow the private and third sectors to invest.

However, delivering the recommendations requires significant and rapid changes in processes and greater integration of existing and new policies and procedures.

Catherine Cosgrove, Chair of SEDA, commented: “Our Land Conversations series provided a platform for ideas and experiences to be discussed. This report provides a flavour of the rich debate sparked during these events and eight recommendations we believe the Scottish Government needs to implement rapidly. We hope this will be the start of a wider public debate that could revitalise our relationship with the land.”

Professor Deb Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute and one of the contributors to the report, added: “The need for land use reform has captured people’s imaginations and we particularly welcome the interdisciplinary and science-led approach in this report’s findings.

“As this report makes clear, a sustainable future for Scotland’s land can only be built on a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary basis, and through the use of principles which take into account people’s needs, sense of community, place and tradition - all of which vary from one region to the next.”

An immediate result of the report’s findings will be the introduction of SEDA Land, a new forum for SEDA members and experts in land use to continue the discussion, seek to influence land use change and monitor progress made by the Scottish Government, local authorities, landowners and businesses in implementing the changes needed.

SEDA Land will be presented alongside the report at a free online event on Monday 6th September. Visit to book your place.

For more information about SEDA, visit

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/new-report-and-forum-discuss-climate-action-scotland on 28/11/23 02:42:58 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.