New Scottish Ministers appointed for rural affairs

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Fergus Ewing has stepped down from his role as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism in Scotland following five years in post. During his tenure, Mr Ewing has been a strong advocate for the forestry sector and has established its importance to not just the rural economy, but Scotland’s economy as a whole. The Institute pays tribute to his work and wish him all the best in future endeavours.

Announced as part of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet reshuffle, Mairi Gougeon will take up the role of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands. A former Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (2018-2020), Ms Gougeon most recently served as Minister for Public Health and Sport.

Supporting Ms Gougeon as the new Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, is the newly-elected Mairi McAllan and former special adviser to the First Minister on environment, climate change, land reform and renewable energy policy. Ms McAllan will be responsible for forestry and woodlands, including Forestry and Land Scotland, Scottish Forestry and Forest Research, land reform and land use, natural resources, peatland and flooding.

The Institute’s Executive Director, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor, welcomes the opportunity to work alongside Ms McAllan to address the skills shortage in forestry given the sector’s vital contribution to both the economy and tackling the climate emergency.

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