Crofting Federation against Barra SAC

scotcroftThe Scottish Crofting Federation is urging the Scottish Government to turn down the proposal that the Sound of Barra should become a marine Special Area of Conservation.

The SCF is also asking the Government to radically revise the way it enacts European environmental legislation, arguing that the Sound of Barra case is only the latest in a long list of disputes between communities and environmental administrators which waste time and resources on both sides of the argument.

SCF director Roddy MacDonald said: “The SCF agrees with the Scottish Government that there need to be changes made to many current human activities in Scotland, including our agriculture and fishing industries, if the country is to contribute properly to global efforts on environmental and species protection.

“However, the campaign by Barra people against the proposed SAC has highlighted a long-standing complaint in crofting communities that there is a democratic deficit in the way that environmental legislation is applied in Scotland. If the proposed SAC for the Sound of Barra was laid aside once and for all, it would respect the strongly-held feelings of many of the population of Barra and help to end the animosity against the Government that the proposal has raised.”

Mr MacDonald concluded: “Given the financial restrictions currently being imposed on SNH and on Government generally, the Government should think again about how nature conservation is carried out in Scotland because the present process is often failing fragile communities and the country as a whole, while wasting finite financial and human resources in the process.”

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