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Making Scotlands Rural Environment More Sustainable Steve Albon Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Scotlands Rural Environment More Sustainable Steve Albon Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Scotlands Rural Environment More Sustainable Steve Albon Overview

2 Aims and Thematic Objectives Integrative research based around Scotlands Natural Resources To help determine key factors influencing function and resilience and which link to sustainability of Scotlands quality brand. improve knowledge on hazard identification, the threat that various risks pose, and solutions to adapt and mitigate. develop appropriate balance of land use: agriculture/forestry, environmental services, recreation, tourism, wildlife refuge.

3 Addressing Big Policy Issues Sustainability of Rural Scotland Protecting Biodiversity Responding to Climate Change

4 Sustainable Development (SD) Guiding Principles Living within environmental limits Ensuring a healthy and just society Achieving a sustainable economy Promoting good governance Using sound science responsibly Wise use of Environment Social justice Economic prosperity SUSTAINABILITY Environmental Science Social Science Economic Science SUSTAINABILITY

5 Conceptual Frameworks for SD Concept of resilience and adaptive cycles (e.g. Gunderson and Holling, 2001) Resilience: the capacity of a system to absorb perturbations and remain in a functionally similar state Multiple stable states: a set of functionally similar states for a system Basins of attraction Redrawn from Ritz et al 2003 PERTURB RESPONSE TIME RESILIENCERESISTANCE

6 Structure of Talk Background Responding to Climate Change –Conservation of soil carbon Protecting Biodiversity –Species Loss –Habitat Loss Sustainable Rural Development –Values and attitudes Our Approach Detecting change Understanding key drivers and mechanisms Stakeholder involvement Integrated Modelling Scenario analysis Supporting policy development Knowledge Exchange

7 1. Responding to Climate Change Mid-Summer Day Challenge Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney announced We will introduce a Scottish Climate Change Bill and consult on a mandatory long-term target to reduce our emissions by 80% by equivalent to reductions of 3% each year. consult on proposals for targets based on average annual reductions over a 5 year period.

8 A Low Carbon Rural Economy? Adaptation and mitigation challenges Rural - Urban connections: carbon (C) footprint of transport Land use change to reduce Green House Gas emissions Feasibility of biomass crop and renewable energy Practices to conserve C and/or sequester more C

9 Conservation of Soil Carbon Erosion (water and wind) Floods and landslides Decline soil organic matter

10 Loss of Soil Organic Matter Survey in England and Wales found significant rate of loss of soil organic matter (SOM) (Bellamy et al 2005) Scotland no contemporary estimates of SOM but more dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is being found in our lakes and rivers

11 Understanding Changes in DOC Increases seen in 80% of 160 sites in Scotland Trend consistent in space & time - climate driver – T o C But increase in rate varies within & between catchments Geology, Soils, Land Use?

12 Need Multi-disciplinary Science Silica concentration Nitrate concentration Sources of flow

13 Latest Statistical Methods

14 National Soils Inventory Scotland Is Soil Carbon Changing? Key points : Data captured km grid (2826 sites), analytical data at 10 km points (721 sites) Objective site selection - area estimates Scottish National Soils Archive

15 Monitoring Change in Soil C To detect change in key soil properties e.g: carbon Compare sampling methods e.g: NSRI, CEH Test suitability of new indicators e.g: bulk density, porosity, measures of biodiversity 20 km re-sampling, similar to EU, as before aligned to OS Grid

16 2. Protecting Biodiversity Scotlands Biodiversity Strategy Species and Habitat – halting loss People – raising awareness Landscapes & Ecosystems – enhancing biodiversity Integration and Coordination – framework for inclusion in all decision making Knowledge – best new and existing information for stakeholders

17 Reversing loss of biodiversity

18 Species solutions need research

19 Priority Species for Action Freshwater Pearl Mussel Woolly Willow Salix lanata Small Cow Wheat Melampyrum sylvaticum

20 Across Scotland area heather moor reduced by 25% since 1945 Habitat loss & Landscape change Expansion of forestry Mammalian herbivores can be landscape engineers

21 How Grazing Impact Varies and which species? Also cattle, rabbits, mountain hare, red grouse

22 Median predicted impact Impact varies with species And density Coarse grasslandDwarf-shrub heath

23 3. Sustainable Rural Development What sort of landscape do we want? Can we mitigate unwanted change? How can we adapt our demands to ensure the viability of rural livelihoods?

24 Diversification for SD Scientific American Stewardship payments Maintaining biodiversity Carbon conservation – in particular soil C Renewable power Sustainable timber Water resources – pollution and flood control Food security - premium

25 Human-Environment Interactions Societal values HUMAN DIMENSION ECOLOGICAL DIMENSION Structures Processes Ecosystem functions Boundary conditions What are key threats to resource & do we understand change processes? What do people value about a resource and the changes to it? Provisioning services –benefits from provision food, fibre or fuel Regulating services –benefits from erosion control, water purification Cultural services –benefits related to recreation Ecosystem services What are relevant issues that emerge from the interaction?

26 Values, Attitudes and Behaviour Beliefs/ValuesAttitudesFocus Groups Mountaineers Birdwatchers Tourists –within Scotland –outside Scotland Local residents Foresters Farmers Human-Nature relationship sense of place Values attributed to balance of nature Benefits & function of biodiversity Emerging issues not based on expert knowledge alone, explicitly include lay stakeholders perceptions Lay stakeholders understanding contingent on translation process and perception, prior knowledge and experience Not all ecosystem functions easily translatable to allow lay stakeholders to make meaningful value judgements! General view on biodiversity management Specific attitude towards particular measures

27 Institutions and Property Rights Feasibility of Exclusion YES NO Rivalry in consumption YES NO Sheep farm Estate quarry Deer population Crofters grazings Landscape PrivateCommon Pool ClubPublic Interactions with Governance Economic – market orientated Regulatory - fines Voluntary - cooperation

28 Stakeholder Involvement Who is currently involved? What interest do they represent? How is their involvement shaping the plan? How can conflicts of interest be resolved ? Innovative, interactive process – see this afternoons workshop!

29 Summary: Science Integral to SD Programme 3 Environmental Economic Social Analysing Change Knowledge of Processes Reduce Uncertainty Stakeholder Involvement Evaluating Policy Development of Indicators Developing Intervention Strategies Scenario analysis

30 Acknowledgements Work Package Coordinators Helaina Black Iain Brown Alison Hester Rupert Hough Simon Langan Keith Matthews Robin Pakeman Alan Renwick Andy Vinten Speakers & Workshop Facilitators Kirsty Blackstock Colin Campbell Bob Ferrier Alison Hester Wendy Kenyon Alan Renwick Graphics & Logistics John Brown Pat Carnegie Jane Lund Lorraine Robertson All the Poster authors/presenters Staff of Main Research Providers Programme 3 Advisory Board Michael Usher, Maggie Gill and Ian Bainbridge


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