With the latest Progress Report on the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Strategy expected to be published in early 2017, this seminar will provide a timely opportunity for policymakers and other key stakeholders to consider the future policy priorities for biodiversity and natural capital.
Delegates will discuss the findings of the report and the next steps for reversing the decline of biodiversity in Scotland, including how local authorities can best engage with other stakeholders - such as conservation groups and landowners - when drafting Local Biodiversity Action Plans.
Further sessions will examine both how Scotland can use its natural capital to promote sustainable economic growth, in advance of the devolution of powers over forestry and the Crown Estate to the Scottish Government, priorities for developing the wider benefits of natural capital.
Areas for discussion include:
- Assessing the future of biodiversity policy in advance of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union;
- The potential for partnership working between businesses, local authorities and conservation groups in meeting biodiversity targets;
- Priorities for ensuring that Scotland’s natural capital is used to the benefit of wider society, particularly in terms of health and wellbeing and community involvement in planning; and
- Opportunities for enhancing the role of natural capital in promoting economic growth - including;
Delivering a sustainable marine economy;
- Managing Scotland’s forests - the Forestry Bill and opportunities for growth; and
- The role for natural capital in promoting tourism in Scotland.
The agenda has been structured following consultation with officials at the Scottish Government. The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by Scotland Policy Conferences. Follow us @ScotlandPolicy for live updates.
We are delighted that Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, The Scottish Government has agreed to deliver a keynote address.
Karen Anderson, Chair, Architecture and Design Scotland; David Balharry, Scotland Director, Rewilding Britain; Dr Mags Currie, Researcher, The James Hutton Institute; Susan Davies, Director of Conservation, Scottish Wildlife Trust; Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer, Land Use and Environment, Scottish Land and Estates; Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive, Confor: Promoting Forestry and Wood; Jon Proctor, Chief Executive, Green Tourism; Dr Craig Rose, Founder, Seaweed & Co.; Andy Wells, Head of Property, Scotland Portfolio, The Crown Estate and Evan Williams, Director, Environmental and Resource Economics have also agreed to speak.
Alexander Burnett MSP, Member, Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar.
This seminar will present an opportunity to engage with key policymakers and other interested parties, and is CPD certified (more details).
Places have been reserved by officials from the Scottish Government and Scottish Land & Estates. Also due to attend are representatives from AHDB; Borders Forest Trust; BSG Ecology; Cockburn Association; EnviroCentre; Marine Scotland Science; National Biodiversity Network Trust; National Museums Scotland; Natural Power Consultants; RSPB; The James Hutton Institute and University of Aberdeen.
Overall we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group numbering 100, including Members of The Scottish Parliament and senior officials from The Scottish Government, regulators and other agencies, including local authorities, landowners, conservation and environmental groups, academics, lawyers and the wider business community, together with reporters from the national and trade press based in Scotland and elsewhere.