Last week the Nature Friendly Farming Network hosted a reception at the Scottish Parliament. MSPs and members of the farming and conservation communities joined us to discuss ways in which farming can help tackle climate change and biodiversity declines.
Our host for the evening, Tavish Scott MSP, gave everyone a warm welcome before handing over to Mairi Gougeon MSP. Her keynote speech hit all the right notes. She spoke of the challenges we face and reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to fighting for our environment. The final speaker of the night, the NFFN’s Scottish vice-Chair, Lynn Cassells, delivered a rousing address, demonstrating the ways in which she farms for nature and the ways that nature improves her business.
It’s a difficult time for farming; uncertainty over Brexit is causing great anxiety, but this was a remarkably positive event filled with constructive dialogue. The Scottish Government is committed to tackling climate change, and has promised to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2045. With farmland making up over 70% of Scotland’s countryside, it’s clear that farmers can help the government achieve this goal. This reception marked the start of what we hope will be a long and fruitful working relationship between the NFFN and policy makers. Now the real work begins. We must collaborate to devise policies that encourage farming to reduce its carbon emissions and improve biodiversity. By working together we can do it. Farming can help Scotland meet its climate obligations.