Wildness is a finite resource, in a world being stripped of its natural assets. We exist to protect, sustain and enhance wild places, working with others on alternatives to harmful land use.
Campaigning for change
In the last 50 years, two thirds of all animal populations have been lost to habitat destruction, and climate change and biodiversity collapse now threaten to transform life on earth.
Through advocacy and campaigning, we work to raise awareness of the unique benefits of wild land – clean air, water, flood prevention, peatlands and woodlands as carbon sinks and wildlife habitats - and for their role in our own health and well-being.
We seek to persuade decision makers, both locally and nationally, to recognise and protect fragile and sensitive wild places and to challenge inappropriate development and damaging land management.
A bold idea for change: the Carbon Emissions Land Tax
Scotland is rich in low productivity land that could be used to lock up vast amounts of carbon, whilst contributing to biodiversity and rural community regeneration.
If all land managers maximised carbon sequestration of peatlands and woodlands, we could reduce our national carbon emissions by almost six million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions a year – equivalent to removing more than four million cars from our roads.
The John Muir Trust is proposing a carbon emissions land tax (CELT), which would band landholdings over 1,000 hectares according to their land uses and estimated negative or positive emissions.
Revenues generated could provide additional funding streams for local authorities, which could be used to fund local carbon reduction projects.
The proposal was presented at the start of 2021 to Scotland's Climate Assembly and subsequently made its way into the Climate Assembly’s ‘Statement of Ambition and Recommendations’. It was also pitched at several COP26 fringe events, and has been highlighted in a recent report on financing climate justice.
Working together for wildness
We can achieve more when we join with other organisations to achieve common goals. We are a member of Scottish Environment LINK, Wales Environment LINK and Wildlife and Countryside Link, as well as the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest. The Hilltracks campaign is just one example of joint advocacy work to improve land use.