Tha calpachas à nàdar gun phrionnsabal, tha Murray MacLeòid ag ràdh

Anns an deasbad farsaing mu bhith dèiligeadh ris an àrainneachd agus na h-atharraichean a dh’fheumas sinn a dhèanamh, tha rud a’ togail ceann a bu chòir a bhith na dhragh. ’S e sin cothroman calpachais à nàdar.

Tha airgead ri fhaighinn airson craobhan a chur no a’ mhòinteach ath-stèidheachadh.

’S e gnothaich a tha seo a tha gu bhith fìor chudromach agus bu chòir dha daoine a bhith gu math nas mothachaile mu dheidhinn, bhon chan e rud a tha ann a tha na chofhurtachd ann an dòigh sam bith.

Tha mi creid s’ gum bu chòir fàilte a chur air rud sam bith a tha toirt piseach air an àrainneachd, ach tha seo a’ cur blas searbh air cùisean bhon bidh buannachdan sam bith a’ dol dhan àite cheàrr.

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Tha e sealltainn cuideachd, ma bha dearbhadh a dhìth oirnn, nach eil càil idir sàbhailte bho spògan meallta an airgid.

Tha oighreachdan agus luchd-reic mar-thà a-nis a’ tòiseachadh a’ meas luach margaidh an fhearainn a-thaobh na dh’fhaodas e dhèanamh dhan àrainneachd – na cothroman a tha e toirt dha leitheid craobhan a chur no a’ mhòinteach ath-stèidheachadh.

Ann am pàirtean de dh’Alba tha na h-uachdarain air cur às de na tuathanasan teaghlaich air a’ mhonaidh agus iad airson craobhan a chur. Airson am pòcaidean fhèin a lìonadh.

Bidh an t-aon rud fìor far a bheil a’ mhòinteach, aon uair ’s gun tig airgead mòr mu choinneimh a bhith gan sgeadachadh airson carbon a ghlasadh.

Tha e tràth sa ghnothach, ach tha e a’ tachairt; tha e againn mar-thà. Tha companaidhean mòra a-nis a’ coimhead ri airgead a chur ann am fearann airson ìomhaigh nas glainne a thoirt dhaibh pèin mu thimcheall na h-àrainneachd.

Dh’fhaodadh tu ràdh gu bheil iad airson oighreachdan na h-Alba a chleachdadh airson an aodach shalach aca a nighe.

A rèir Hamish Trench, àrd-oifigear Coimisein Fearann na h-Alba, buidheann comhairleachaidh aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba airson crathadh a thoirt air siostam an fhearainn, chan eil fhios dè thig à seo fhathast ach feumar tòiseachadh a’ dealbhadh riaghailtean air a shon.

Thuirt e: “Tha am freagairt airson atharrachadh na gnàth-shìde a’ toirt buaidh air cò leis a tha am fearann, an luach a th’ aige agus a’ mhargaidh air a shon.

"’S e a’ cheist: ciamar a ghabhas dèiligeadh ris? Tha ceistean gu math bunaiteach an seo air am feumar beachdachadh.”

Mar a thug e fhèin iomradh, tha cunnart ann gun tèid a h-uile càil a shlugadh leis na daoine beairteach – mar a bha is mar a tha – agus dè an uair sin dha na coimhearsnachdan agus dha na daoine a tha a’ fuireach air an fhearann?

Far a bheil uachdranas coimhearsnachd chan eil feagal, ach gu mì-fhortanach chan eil sin fhathast ach ann an glè bheag de dh’àiteachan – corra sgìre croitearachd, na h-Eileanan Siar gu sònraichte.

’S e fìrinn na cuise gur e Alba fhathast Pàrras an uachdarain phrìobhaidich agus a dharna leth dhen fhearann ann an làmhan dìreach 400 duine, nas lugha na 0.008% dhen t-sluagh.

Nuair a thig e gu bhith gabhail brath air a’ chalpachas a tha ann an nàdar, tha Hamish French ag ràdh gu feumar “cothromachadh a dhèanamh eadar buannachd dhan phoball agus dhan roinn phrìobhaideach”.

’S e an duilgheadas le seo gu bheil an siostam an-dràsta fhathast gu mòr ann an fàbhar nam beairteach agus gu mì-fhortanach chan eil càil a choltas gu bheil fiu ’s dleastanasan air an àrainneachd fhèin dol a chur maill orra.

Fios bhon neach-deasachaidh:

Tapa leibh airson an aithris a tha seo a leughadh. Tha sinn an eismeil ur taic nas motha na bha riamh agus buaidh a’ Choronbhirus air buaidh a thoirt air luchd sanasachd. Mur eil sibh air a dhèanamh mar-tha, ma se ur toil, nach beachdaich sibh taic a chumail ri ar obair-naidheachd earbsach, a tha sinn a’ dearbhadh a tha fìor, le bhith toirt a-mach ballrachd digiteach.

In the wider debate over climate change and net-zero carbon emission targets, the phrase “natural capital” may not have registered too much in the lexicon of the most passionate proponents of change.

Yet they’d be wisely advised to sit up and take note as it’s going to be of huge importance and, the danger is, not altogether in an enlightened way.

I suppose anything that promotes better environmental practice is a good thing, but at the same time this rush to embrace the concept of nature as a means of capital leaves a rather sour taste in the mouth and the benefits flowing in the wrong direction.

This is simply about monetising the natural environment. If ever it needed confirmed, it demonstrates that nothing is sacred from the avarice of Mammon.

Land agents and investors are already starting to assess the value of land through what it can achieve in carbon sequestration – mainly tree-planting and peatland restoration.

Estate owners in parts of Scotland have replaced traditional family hill farms – which could contribute so much to biodiversity improvement under the right regime – with forestry, as the financial rewards are simply much greater. So it will be with moorland, as its carbon-sequestration potential starts to attract government support in hard cash.

It is early days, but the sharks are circling. Big name companies are now looking at land investments to off-set their carbon damage and give them greater environmental credentials. Scotland’s landscape is being lined up for “green washing”.

Hamish Trench, the chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, the government advisory body on reforming ownership of land, has warned that while this end-game is difficult to predict it needs early regulatory intervention.

He said: “As the response to climate change shapes land ownership, values and markets, the question is how do we do this well? There are fundamental questions to consider.”

As Trench alluded to, the danger is that the financial opportunity in moving towards a more environmentally friendly regime will be swallowed up by the wealthy. What then for the communities and the people that live on the land, without a system in which checks and balances are built in?

Where community ownership is in play, there will be protection, but this kind of model is still rare, only existing in certain crofting communities. Scotland remains the paradise of the individual laird, with 400 owners – less than 0.008 per cent of the population – owning around 50 per cent of rural land.

When it comes to this new demand for exploiting nature’s capital, French says there needs to be a “fair and productive balance of public and private benefit”.

The trouble is that the system as it stands is skewed towards the wealthy. It looks like not even a new environmental awakening is enough to redress that imbalance.

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