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NFFN Scotland Update from Chair Michael Clarke

The NFFN Scotland Steering Group continues to meet, albeit virtually, and is committed to working with farmers to support the development of nature friendly farming practices and with other partners and government to promote a policy environment that recognises the key role farming has in providing nature based solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Steering group members are encouraged by the commitment by Scottish Government  to ensure that the economic recovery is a green recovery and the relevance of that given the current climate crisis.

Transitioning to a sustainable, net zero society by 2045 and restoring Scotland’s environment will rely on collaboration and innovation across rural sectors, which will be central to the realisation of economic opportunities to support recovery whilst protecting biodiversity. The NFFN supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to continue to support biodiversity, including through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, as they seek to improve the state of nature in Scotland.

With agriculture representing the predominant land use in Scotland, covering around 70% of the land area, it is absolutely critical that the commitment to biodiversity support and the restoration of Scotland’s environment go hand in hand with planned new mechanisms of agricultural support that secure a productive sector better able to contribute towards delivering Scotland’s climate change outcomes and promote new employment opportunities.

The NFFN agrees with Scottish Government that the rural economy must also be at the forefront of our economic and environmental recovery and seeks assurance that the existing and proposed sustainable farming working groups focus not only on carbon reduction but consider actions to protect wildlife and the environment whilst still producing plentiful quality produce.

As set out in the Programme for Government, creating a more circular economy promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth and is fundamental to our transition to becoming a net zero society. The NFFN recognises that such an approach aligns with our commitment to regenerative nature friendly farming.

We look forward to working with partners in promoting the benefits of nature friendly farming as a key aspect of Scotland’s land and natural economy during 2021.