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Scottish researchers to present at international rural development conference

Ben Nevis (c) James Hutton Institute
“The potential human and social capital benefits of community-based service provision could turn out to be the silver lining of the cloud of austerity.”

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), both part of the SEFARI collective, will be among the speakers at this week’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Rural Development Conference, Enhancing Rural Innovation, in Edinburgh.

Dr Andrew Copus, an economic geographer based at the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences in Aberdeen, will discuss the long-term planning and prioritisation of rural services, while Dr Jane Atterton, Manager and Policy Researcher of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre, will take part in a panel session on social innovation and community-led initiatives.

Rebecca Audsley, Climate Change Manager at SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, will give a presentation on Farming for a Better Climate, a programme which demonstrates practical, low-cost or free measures to help farmers improve efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.

Hosted by the Scottish Government and co-hosted by the European Commission and DEFRA, the conference begins at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre today (Monday 9 April) and runs until Thursday. The SRUC and Hutton speakers are presenting on Wednesday.

The conference will encourage the exchange of experiences and good practice from member countries, including Sweden, Mexico, Australia, Canada and Japan. It will be attended by more than 300 high-level government officials, key rural policy experts and stakeholders.

Dr Copus said: “The potential human and social capital benefits of community-based service provision could turn out to be the silver lining of the cloud of austerity.”

Dr Atterton added: “We are seeing more and more examples of rural communities and businesses coming together and ‘doing things for themselves’, from forming healthcare co-operatives to owning land and managing local services.

"These activities are the result of many different drivers, and often require community members to demonstrate a whole host of different skills and expertise.

"The OECD Conference is an excellent opportunity to showcase Scottish rural innovation to the world, and to explore what we can learn from elsewhere.”

Notes to editors

The 11th OECD Rural Development Conference aims to bring together leading policy makers, private sector and renowned experts to exchange experiences and good practices on issues related to innovation in rural areas, including the development of policies to benefit from the 10 key drivers of rural change, and making the most of opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and service delivery. A full conference programme is available on the OECD website, and journalists wishing to attend should register here.

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Printed from /news/scottish-researchers-present-international-rural-development-conference on 06/12/23 09:01:30 AM

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.