SGA Petition to be heard again at Holyrood

MSPs will again hear SGA Petition PE1966 on September 20th when the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee meets at the Scottish Parliament.

The petition, tabled by Helen Ferguson on behalf of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, seeks formal recognition and incorporation of local 'or practitioner' knowledge into Scottish Government policy, with particular regard to conservation.

Contrary to some commentary, the petition does not seek for practical knowledge to supersede science, rather for it to be given full consideration alongside scientific approaches.

To date, the Petition has received 1317 signatures. However, you can add your name, here:





One example where this has been effective in the conservation arena was in the production of the Moorland Forum's paper 'Understanding Predation', (see link below)

where practitioners, scientists and conservationists co-wrote conclusions regarding the impact of predators on declining wading birds in Scotland.


Lively debate


Fergus Ewing MSP believes gamekeepers are under-represented in conservation policy

The Petition has already incited some interesting views within the Committee at earlier hearings.

Fergus Ewing MSP (pictured above) commented, in relation to the petition:

"They (SGA members) are not clattering keyboards; keyboard warriors, they are actually managing nature, looking after animals, for which they care deeply. Yet they are completely under-represented as I understand at NatureScot, so they (the regulators) are denied the opportunity of centuries of experience of people who care deeply about the countryside and the animals of Scotland."


Scientific backing


The SGA has presented additional evidence to the Committee, citing a paper published this month by James Hutton Institute and commissioned by NatureScot (image above).

The paper, which looks at how we can reverse biodiversity loss in Scotland, includes in its key recommendations, the following statement:

“Local and experiential knowledge is undervalued in environmental decision making. Participatory governance arrangements should be developed that incorporate local knowledge into decision making.”


We will update members in due course on how they can watch the Petition's progress on Parliament TV. 





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