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The Arkleton Trust organises seminars on rural development. All participants who are invited attend in their own right to share their views. It has been a tradition of all Arkleton meetings and seminars that we do not attribute anything said to a particular speaker. We meet as individuals, sharing a common concern so the seminar takes the form of a round table debate under Chatham House rules and are designed to be the launching pad for the presentation of the findings of research programme which we have funded in the previous year.
The Trust usually prepares an issues paper before the seminar which is formed around the information provided by the fellows / awardees who have been mworking towards this occasion. The issues paper usually reflects upon the major issues raised and what they mean. Furthermore, at the seminar the Trust is interested in hearing the views of the invitees (not their organisations) and it is intended to be an interactive seminar not a forum for presenting papers.
Seminar Reports can be downloaded from this website.
The 2012 seminar was held in November 2012. The seminar was held with an eye to the future rather than a culmination of work completed. The Trust has always been at the cutting edge and ahead of times with its thinking but with the development of the use of I.T. it is becoming harder to keep ahead of the issues of the day. During 2012 the Trust funded some papers examining future areas that those involved feel strongly about. We had 6 awardees working on the following subjects:
- Informal and non-traditional education for rural development
- How do we sustain rural communities in their own place?
- Improving smallholders’ livelihood through emerging social (agri)business models
- Building resilient institutional infrastructures for development in remote rural areas
- Doing rural development in the economic downturn by economic solidarity
- Connected crofts and hubs of excellence
The three selected for presentation at the seminar were:
- How do we sustain rural communities in their own place?
- Building resilient institutional infrastructures for development in remote rural areas; and
- Connected crofts and hubs of excellence.
At the seminar participants discussed the work presented and incorporated issues from this together with issues from the John Higgs Memorial Lecture, which Richard Leafe presented, to tease out where there is a niche for the Trust to fund further research. There was further input from a project funded by the John Higgs Memorial Trust on rural livelihood diversification and adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh.
There were 22 participants, including the awardees, who were invited in their own right to share their views. It has been a tradition of all Arkleton meetings and seminars that we do not attribute anything said to a particular speaker. We meet as individuals, sharing a common concern so the seminar takes the form of a round table debate under Chatham House rules.
The John Higgs Memorial Lecture was delivered by Richard Leafe, drawing on his innovative approach to sustainable development in the Lake District National Park.
The report of the seminar can be downloaded here.
Continuing to work within the theme of ‘Rural Community Adaptation to Climate Change’ following the previous seminar in 2007, competitive fellowships were offered to ascertain "the extent and scope of initiatives that are directly related to adaptation to climate change in rural areas".
The fellows looked at initiatives that specifically explored the links between adaptation to climate change and rural areas. The output from each fellow was to provide a basic summary documentation of the initiatives identified – location, owners/participants, aims, funders, and outputs etc., where possible short case studies of initiatives were also compiled. Each fellow also compiled a short issues paper.
The Fellowships were based on the following areas:
- European continent
- America, Canada and South America
The fellows’ reports were completed in the form of case studies and broad information available on individual initiatives. In addition they completed an issues paper highlighting commonalities and differences which they found across the region; possible lessons that can be learnt; an overview on whether the communities are actually making progress; whether they are being reactive or proactive; whether the initiatives are country or location specific; and if there is a particular issue or theme emerging from the regional projects.
These papers were then analysed by our trustees to develop a discussion document looking at the individual regional findings and drawing them up to an international level. This paper is from the view of policy, community and academia and formed the opening point of discussion for the seminar. The fellows also attended the seminar giving further information on their findings.
As usual, a variety of people were invited to attend the seminar to add to the depth of knowledge on the topic and to help with discussions. A former David Moore Awardee, Jessica Frank, was also invited to the seminar and acted as seminar raporteur.
Individual reports can be downloaded:
“Rural community strategies for managing the economic & social impacts of climate change”
This seminar was the culmination of the two year thematic project covering all the Trust funds for 2005 - 2007. The starting point in this programme was the award of four competitive fellowships. The fellows were located in Venezuela, India, Bhutan, and Finland, and each of them was charged to work with rural communities known to them on ‘Rural Community Impacts of Climate Change and Associated Amelioration and Mitigation Measures’. Subsequent awards on this theme were awarded to three other people using the David Moore Fund and the John Higgs Fund. One examined micro-impacts of low level ozone on English farming. A second examined the rural community impacts on two Swiss alpine communities. A third examined tourism-fisheries conflicts in a Mexican rural community, broadly linked with climate change impacts.
A synthesis paper of all the abovementioned reports was compiled. A copy of this report can be uploaded by clicking
All the fellows with the sole exception of the Fellow from Bhutan (who unfortunately failed to obtain a visa) attended the seminar. The seminar also had additional participation from Canada, China, Norway, Algeria as well as extra participants from India and the UK.
The conclusion of the seminar was that many rural and indigenous communities are actually putting into place initiatives to adapt to climate change.However, many of these communities are not being identified nor are they sharing the lessons they are learning.It was therefore felt that a global mapping of communities needed to be commenced.There was wide agreement among seminar participants that the work undertaken to date by fellows should be deepened, widened, made publicly accessible, and that links should be created with other organizations and initiatives in the field. Further that the Trust should invest in some proactive assistance to the communities the fellows had worked with where it fitted into the overall strategy of the Trust. The point was made that it is the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and communities in rural areas that suffer most from climate change impacts, and that some of these may well have the least capacity to adapt to those impacts.
The final seminar report can also be downloaded by clicking Seminar Report 2007
The Importance of Place Based & Consequential Learning for Rural Communities and People.
Seminar Attendees outside Dounside House, Tarland, Scotland
Local Rural Communities – Potential Champions of their own Destinies? Full text
- Working with Rural Communities, and with Bureaucracies [Summary Report]
- 1999: Rural Development, European Enlargement and Agenda 2000 [Full Text]
- 1998: Rural Development, European Enlargement and the WTO Trade Talks [Full Text]
- 1997: Towards an Integrated Rural Policy for the UK Full Text
- Copies of reports from earlier seminars can be found under the publications - seminar reports tab on the menu