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Policy Priorities for Delivering Scotland's Environment Strategy

With the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss and an unsustainable level of human consumption leading to a depletion in quality of our air, land and sea, Scotland’s forthcoming Environment Strategy seeks to confront the challenges and the expectations brought about by the Climate Emergency, while ensuring Scotland is at the forefront of the green revolution and is able to benefit economically from it.   

‘Adapt to Prosper’

Throughout the year, in Scotland and beyond, environmental issues have ascended to the very top of the political agenda and as such, there have been calls for the Environment Strategy to have equal status with the Economic Strategy.  Should the Scottish Government accede to this notion, it would be an admission there are other indicators of Scotland’s yardstick of success beyond GDP growth and economic output.  

But nonetheless, prosperity is still of importance.  Between now and 2030 and ecoservices system already contributes £20bn to the Scottish economy every year. To realise its draft vision of ‘One Planet Prosperity’, the Scottish Government envisages Scotland being the best place in the world to invest in low carbon business technology and continuing to build on our reputation as a nation with excellence in designing, research and innovation to be at the cutting edge of this agenda while ensuring a Just Transition to protect those on the lowest incomes.

Join us at this timely and necessary event as we recap on the plethora of existing policy which sits within the environment brief; explore the broad implications of what the new environment strategy may entail for professions within public sector and beyond; consider the resources for delivery and the mechanisms already in place at a local and national level for this purpose illuminating any gaps and how to facilitate or best compel behavioural change by individuals which ensure the draft vision, outcomes and the various targets the Scottish Government has committed to – particularly on climate change and protecting biodiversity – are met.  

Key Issues We'll Address With You

  • Overview of Environmental policy landscape
  • Implications of Brexit - the short and long-term challenges this presents and the changes it potentially brings about 
  • Securing a Just Transition
  • Frameworks for delivery 
  • Developing the Green Economy
  • Harnessing Scotland's natural capital for social justice and health outcomes
  • Achieving the Draft Outcomes in the Discussion Paper and resources required for this
  • Engaging with stakeholders to deliver on the Draft Vision and Outcomes of the Discussion Paper

Confirmed Speakers

  • Hamish Trench, Chief Executive, Scottish Land Commission
  • Professor Colin T Reid, Professor of Environmental Law, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee 
  • Vhairi Tollan, Advocacy Manager, Scottish Environment LINK 
  • Dr Sheila George, Food & Environment Policy Manager, WWF Scotland 

Who Should Attend?

  • Biodiversity Leads
  • Biodiversity Professionals
  • Sustainability / Sustainable Development Leads/Managers
  • Environmental Protection Leads/Managers
  • Regional Development and Natural Environment Specialists
  • Local Authority Waste and Recycling Managers and Officers
  • Local Authority Waterways Managers and Officers
  • City Regional Committee/Cabinet members with relevant portfolios
  • Transport Leads
  • Sustainable Tourism Managers
  • Directors and Heads of Parks and Public Spaces
  • Environmental Services and Policy Managers
  • Environmental Services Sustainability Managers
  • Environmental Services Urban Design Planners
  • Environmental Planning and Design Officers
  • Conservation Managers
  • Conservation Professionals
  • Environmental Campaigners
  • Environmental Enforcement Manager
  • Housing professionals  
  • Farmers
  • Agricultural Research Professionals
  • Renewable Energy/ Energy Efficiency Leads
  • Horticultural Managers
  • Green Education Leaders
  • Private Sector Environmental Organisations
  • Business Development Managers
  • Greening Industry Professionals
  • Third Sector Environmental Executives (including Voluntary)
  • Local Authorities
  • Local Planning Authorities
  • Non Departmental Public Bodies
  • UK Central Government Departments (Scotland Office/DEFRA/EA)
  • Scottish Government Directorates/Units (Climate Change/Environment/Land Reform/Planning/Local Government/Infrastructure/Transport)
  • Non-ministerial Departments
  • Health Boards/HSCPs
  • Utilities
  • Museums
  • Farming Organisations
  • Rural Organisations
  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Industries
  • Green Retail Organisations
  • Green Tourism members
  • Schools and Education Stakeholders (including LEAs)

Confirmed Speakers


09:30 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

 Session 1: Environment Policy – where have we been and how have we got here?

  • Prior the declaration of a climate emergency by the First Minister earlier this year, there was a plethora of dispersed strategies and delivery plans.  The exact position of the strategy is still to be outlined – whether it sits above; amalgamates and builds upon or supplants these policy directive documents.  This session will be an overview of the policy landscape across the environment portfolio already in place to provide apt context for the remainder of the day.

10:05     Professor Colin T Reid, Professor of Environmental Law, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee 

10:20    Questions and Discussion

10:30    Interactive session

11:20    Refreshments and Networking

Session 2: Next steps in meeting the challenges and making the best of opportunities as a result of the Climate Emergency

  • Immediate and strategic challenges presented by Brexit in the context of the Climate Emergency from implementing EU legislation into Scots law; distribution of replacement funding and resources; alternative policy options to replace the labour, scientific expertise and principles and environmental standards Scotland is currently privy to deriving from membership of the EU.
  • Just transition
  • Review of current framework for delivery of current and future policy priorities
  • Developing the green economy in Scotland so it is able to become the global destination of FDI for low-carbon technology
  • Leveraging the benefits of Scotland’s natural capital into sustainable economic growth, social justice and improved health outcomes

11:40    Vhairi Tollan, Advocacy Manager, Scottish Environment LINK 

11:55    Senior representative, Just Transition

12:20    Senior representative, Consultancy

12:20    Senior representative, Local Authority

12:50    Questions and Discussion

13:15    Lunch and Networking

14:05   Session 3: State and Activity: Delivering the draft vision and outcomes as envisioned for an Environment Strategy for Scotland

  • WWF Scotland have described Outcomes 3 and 4 (on biodiversity and on fresh air, water and soils) in the Discussion Paper as ‘state outcomes’, with the rest as ‘activity outcomes’ – discussion of how we get to these ‘states’ through the activities stipulated and ultimately deliver the draft vision in the strategy and the wider vision of contributing to a sustainable planet, safe for future generations.
  • What’s this going to cost and how could this be resourced and delivered in practice?
  • Engaging with stakeholders – economic, transport, planning, those involved in land ownership and reform – creating a Scotland that allows people to live more environmentally-sustainable lives

14:05     Dr Sheila George, Food & Environment Policy Manager, WWF Scotland 

14:15     Senior representative, Planning

14:25     Senior representative, Biodiversity

14:35     Hamish Trench, Chief Executive, Scottish Land Commission 

15:45     Senior representative, Central Government

15:10    Questions and Discussion

15:35    Closing Remarks from Chair

15:40    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change

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29 Jan 2020
Central Edinburgh
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