Farmers and Crofters Delivering for Biodiversity and the Climate

Panel event marks launch of ‘Champions for Change’ initiative between NFU Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust

NFU Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT)have teamed up to hold a topical and important panel event which will examine how Scotland’s farmers and crofters can deliver for biodiversity and the climate.

The hour-long event, taking place virtually on Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 11am, will be addressed by the Scottish Government’s Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon MSP and will mark the launch of the collaborative ‘Champions for Change’ initiative.

‘Champions for Change’ has been co-developed by NFUS and SWT to highlight the positive action many farmers are already taking – such as creating woodland, targeting pesticide and fertiliser inputs and restoring peatlands – and champion the changes that are needed in future. The initiative will also see the organisations jointly calling for the wider environmental benefits that farming can provide, which go beyond food production, to be better recognised and rewarded.

The event will be chaired by Gillian Martin MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee. Speaking alongside the Minister will be a panel who will explore what is needed to encourage best practice on Scotland’s farms and crofts, including overcoming current barriers:

  • Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment
  • Jo Pike, Chief Executive, Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Martin Kennedy, NFU Scotland Vice President
  • Willie Thomson, NFU Scotland Combinable Crops Committee Chair
  • Carey Coombs, Farmer and Council Member, Scottish Wildlife Trust

In a joint statement, Jo Pike, Chief Executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scott Walker, Chief Executive of NFU Scotland said: “We are delighted to be working together on ‘Champions for Change’ and look forward to a rich and stimulating discussion to the launch this initiative.

“We believe that farmers and crofters will be the new Champions for Change. To secure this positive future, we are agreed that we need to see action from the Scottish Government in terms of clarity on future agriculture and land management policy, and the delivery of environmental and productivity outcomes.

“This action should include commitments to fairer, long-term funding for schemes that deliver tangible biodiversity and climate benefits, and a focus on investing in natural capital and genuine environmental improvement, thereby supporting the rural economy so it can play a key role in delivering a green recovery from Covid-19.

“The event will provide a platform for our respective members, MSPs, and stakeholders alike to discuss and examine these priorities, and we encourage everyone with an interest on these important themes, including the media, to join us.”



Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 161/20

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