Engaging stakeholders in sustainable upland estate management
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Engaging stakeholders in sustainable upland estate management



Presentation about research carried out as part of the Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century project at Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College UHI. For more information, and to download a ...

Presentation about research carried out as part of the Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century project at Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College UHI. For more information, and to download a related booklet, visit http://www.perth.uhi.ac.uk/sustainable-estates



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  • Project at CMS since 2007 – 3 PhD projects and one other project. Following aims:To explore the concept of ‘sustainability’ as applied to large, upland estates in ScotlandTo consider a cross-section of ‘types’ of estate owners, including private, community and NGO owners.To use a case study approach in order to gain an in-depth understanding of a range of people’s experiences of estate ownership and management.Range of topics:Landowner motivation and understanding of sustainabilityPrivate landowners’ contributions to sustainable rural communitiesA SWOT analysis of community owned estatesHow can we monitor how estates deliver sustainability goals in practice?DESCRIBE CASE STUDY APPROACH
  • Land Use Strategy (multiple benefits/ecosystem approach)Land Reform (Scotland) Act Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (Scotland)
  • For estate owners and representatives: Need for genuine engagement with estate communities and wider partnersLeads to a long-term positive development of the public image of estatesIncreases wider confidence in the estates sectorFor estate communities: Communities need to identify their needs and priorities and engage with estate representatives (Upland Solutions – ‘communities that seek to improve themselves’)Overcome prejudices, embrace involvement all partnersFor policy-makers, public agencies and other stakeholders: Support engagement and joint working Positive partnerships can contribute to community resilience Equal support should be given across the sectorStakeholders need to define their role with the partners involved and commit to joint projects

Engaging stakeholders in sustainable upland estate management Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Engaging stakeholders in Sustainable Estate ManagementExploring the potential of engagement and partnerships between estates, communities and other stakeholders 1
  • 2. The next 25 minutes…1. Why me?2. What are the key sustainabilitypressures for communities and estates?3. Why might more engagement and jointworking help?4. Does it always work?5. How can we move forwards? 2
  • 3. 1. Why me? Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century Private landownership Partnerships and collaboration Landowner motivations NGO landownership Case studies Sustainable estate communities Land reform Community landownershipSustainability assessment criteria 3
  • 4.  Large postal survey of private landowners (2008) Over 200 hours of recorded interviews and discussions Household surveys of communities on case study estates Research observations while studying, living and working on case study estates Review and analysis of literature and case study estate documentation The evidence base 4
  • 5. ► Access to assets and services► Employment and business challenges► Community spirit and social capital 2. Sustainability pressures for communities 5
  • 6. ► Financial viability/sustainability► Asset limitations► Social/physical distance between the estate and the other stakeholders Sustainability pressures for estates
  • 7. An illustration… Employment and business challenges Community Estate Economic security/viability Impact of market variance and loss of large employers Land or premises availability Lack of career development opportunities Lack of diversification opportunities 7
  • 8. Key Issues - Making the links A SOLUTION = Engagement and joint working? 8
  • 9. 3. Why might more engagement help? “We have strong, “People should have resilient and opportunities to supportive contribute to debates communities where and decisions about people take land use and responsibility for their management own actions and how decisions which affect they affect others.” their lives.” - Scotland’s National - Scotland’s Land Use Strategy Performance Framework 9
  • 10. Mutual benefits of engagement 1. New business and asset opportunities 2. Access to wider knowledge, skills and resources 3. Releasing volunteer energy 4. (Re)connecting people to the land 5. Robust and accepted decisions 6. Reducing a perceived disconnect between estates, communities and wider stakeholders 10
  • 11. Developing new business andasset opportunities “…he [estate owner] has actually stuck his neck out…he has allowed people to come in and do things…he’s given people opportunities…” Community member 11
  • 12. Accessing wider knowledge, skillsand resources “The process of doing things gives you the confidence and ability, and the aspiration, to do more.” Community member 12
  • 13. Releasing volunteer energy “When we have our open days…the community really get involved…a lot of it is letting people know what we do and what we can do…” Estate representative 13
  • 14. (Re)connecting people to the land “If you go back 100 years, everybody was farming these bits of ground, because their livelihood depended on it. Now their livelihood doesn’t depend on it, thankfully you might say… Estate representative 14
  • 15. Making robust and accepteddecisions “…the community needs to feel that it is truly a consultation.” Estate representative 15
  • 16. Reducing a perceived disconnect “There is a lot of crossover between the Development Group and the Estate… [estate manager] can answer you then and there…It is communications and involvement – directly.” Community member 16
  • 17. 4. Does it always work? 4 important challenges: 1. Resource limitations 2. Communication difficulties 3. Contrasting perspectives 4. Developing accountable decision- making processes 17
  • 18. Challenges of engagement and joint workingCHALLENGE: Resource limitations►Staff time and skills►Community time and skills►Financial cost►Burden on volunteers►Consultation fatigue“…it is very difficult indeed to get peopleto meetings. They would go…if youproposed to put in a Heathrow…throughthe fields… something really big.” Estate community member 18
  • 19. CHALLENGE: Communication difficulties►Non-communicative approach►Dealing with preconceptions►Personality clashes►Narrow engagement“Never been made to feel part of anyestate. Theres no cohesion…We onlyknow were on an estate because ofoccasional interference.” Estate community member 19
  • 20. CHALLENGE: Contrasting perspectives ►Range of personal values ►Community divisions or differing priorities ►‘Them and us’ mentality“…they’ve every right to put intheir two-pennies worth…a lotof them have bought expensiveproperties…but they come outwith some affa claims…” Estate community member 20
  • 21. CHALLENGE: Developing accountabledecision-making processes ►Power imbalances ►Responsibility for process and outcomes ►Changes in ownership or representation“To hear what locals have to say, andnot be "directed by" facelesswonders from government [wouldpromote estate sustainability]...” Sustainability professional 21
  • 22. 5. How can we move forwards? 22
  • 23. A proactive approach from all partners PROACTIVE ACTIVE UNDERACTIVE Taking a Willingness to Unwilling to leadership role collaborate collaborate at or beyond with other (closed-door the estate scale organisations, policy). (showing partners etc. initiative) (open-door policy) MORE SUSTAINABLE LESS SUSTAINABLE 23
  • 24. Visible andapproachableestaterepresentatives 24
  • 25. Suitable methods and timings e.g. community shareholders in estate business e.g. tenancies and contracts e.g. liaison group or forum e.g. consultation on estate management planning e.g. community surgeries, involvement with local groups 25
  • 26. Benefits of a facilitator?“…to help develop the capacity within the communityto develop their own ideas…to get involved at variouslevels, in how things are taken forward” Government representative 26
  • 27. When benefits wererecognised andproductive engagementand partnerships weredeveloped, the researchfound evidence ofstronger localgovernance and aspectrum of examplesof mutual gains. 27
  • 28. Working Together for Sustainable EstateCommunities►Taking forward our findings►Focus on evidence of engagement and partnerships►Practical booklet based on practical examples 28
  • 29. AcknowledgementsFunder: The Henry Angest FoundationProject team: Dr Jayne Glass, Dr Rob Mc Morran, Annie McKee and Pippa WagstaffThe Sustainable Estates Advisory Group:Knowledge Exchange support from:Project supervisors:Professor Martin Price (Centre for Mountain Studies)Dr Charles Warren (University of St Andrews)Professor Alister Scott (Birmingham City University) 29