The conference, in Pollock Halls, is discussing issues surrounding the benefits or “services” our countryside provides, like food production, recreation, clean air and water, flood control, energy supply and a host of others. It is considering how they are currently understood and how one activity impacts on the others. However John Gilliland argued that if those managing land are to contribute to helping deliver such “ecosystem services”, they need to understand it through messages that relate to their daily lives.
said John Gilliland.
Earlier Scotland’s Environment Minster, Stewart Stevenson MSP, had opened the conference with support for a “whole system approach” to policy making and one which engaged the support of all those using land.
Over two days conference speakers are highlighting where the benefits and choices the natural environment offers can conflict. Others offer approaches to resolving the issues through new policy tools or changes in management practices. The role of woodland, soils and water are among the issues discussed. The Scottish Government’s current five year research programme puts a particular focus on addressing many of the important research and policy development questions surrounding eco system services.
The 9th SAC/SEPA, biennial Conference, in Pollock Halls, Edinburgh is on 3rd & 4th of April. It is organised jointly by the SAC and SEPA with the support of the James Hutton Institute, Forest Research and Scottish Natural Heritage.