The Scottish Ecological Design Association’s online Land Conversation held March 2021. The report published August. Launch of the campaigning group SEDA Land. First online event to be held on land carbon tax November 2021.
Six online Land Conversations
The Scottish Ecological Design Association worked with organisations, including research institutes and universities, and many individuals to build an online programme of events in March and April this year in the broad topics of land use, food, rural enterprise, land ownership, housing and power. The Conversations were titled: 1) The lie of the land, 2) Soil and growth, 3) Ecosystems and energy, 4) Natural benefits, 5) New rural economy and 6) A Story for the future.
Hundreds logged into each conversation. Several speakers proposed and argued a case, followed by interactive discussion with online attendees. The James Hutton Institute was well represented as speakers and questioners.
The background to the Conversations and details of each event can be found at https://www.seda.uk.net/land-conversations.
Each conversation also included an interlude of poetry, music and song. The Living Field well appreciated this combination of scientific discussion, practicality and art which has been a feature of its own outreach programmes over the last 20 years.
A highly successful enterprise!
Report on the Land Conversations
SEDA’s report on the 6 Land Conversations (cover shown below) is available at the web link: https://www.seda.uk.net/seda-land-conversations/report. The report opened with 8 recommendations for urgent and coordinated action, including development of a healthy food strategy, an agroecological strategy, supporting education on future land use, and funding for innovation and business.
Formation of SEDA Land
Following the 6 Land Conversations, a new organisation – SEDA Land was formed as a “cross-sectoral forum for the discussion, formulation and promotion of ideas that will improve land use in Scotland to achieve both a healthy ecology and dynamic social economy.”
SEDA Land’s aims, reproduced from its Vision Statement are:
- To bring together individuals and groups from different sectors to design and test imaginative solutions for land use that can address the priorities of climate change, food and energy security, biodiversity loss and social issues
- To be a source for sharing cross-sectoral knowledge and promoting ideas on the ecological use of Scotland’s land
- To broaden awareness of these ideas, and possible solutions, through events, publications and the media
- To inform and influence policies around land use in Scotland, with the aim of delivering the changes needed to ensure Scotland’s land works for all who work, live or visit it, as a part of a thriving ecology and economy.
The new organisation will benefit from SEDA’s reputation for impartiality, knowledge of regulations and multidisciplinary approaches to complex issues in architecture and planning.
The full Vision Statement can be read at https://www.seda.uk.net/seda-land
First SEDA Land Event
The first event to be held by SEDA Land will be a collaboration with the John Muir Trust in an online ‘conversation’ on a carbon tax for land usage. Among issues to be discussed are whether land should be taxed at a rate depending on its contributions to carbon storage and carbon emissions.
Note: the editor values the approach from SEDA in December 2020 to help guide the topics and speakers for the Land Conversations and then the invitation to join SEDA Land’s Steering Group.
Information on a land use matrix and decision tree is available on the curvedflatlands web site at http://curvedflatlands.co.uk/land/seda-land-conversations-matrix-and-decision-tree/