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Title: The power of the research process : co-producing knowledge for sustainable upland estate management in Scotland
Author: Glass, Jayne H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 0763
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of the Highlands and Islands
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis developed and piloted a suite of sustainability indicators for assessing the extent to which upland estate management in Scotland delivers sustainability goals. In Scotland, upland areas have a unique pattern of land ownership, with much of the land divided into ‘estates’ owned by private individuals and organisations, public bodies, and non-governmental and community organisations. Upland estate management objectives and land uses are wide-ranging - agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, property and sporting interests – set within discourses of sustainability and multifunctionality and also including new developments in tourism, renewable energy and biodiversity conservation. The complexity of upland estate management presents a great challenge, both theoretically and practically. To tackle this complexity, indicators were developed using a transdisciplinary research approach, combining academic and non-academic knowledge within a deliberative research process to address a ‘real world’ problem. A conceptual framework guided the adaptation of the Delphi technique so that the indicators were selected in a manner which: (1) increased transdisciplinary capacity; (2) facilitated knowledge integration; and (3) enhanced the potential for social learning. Using the adapted technique, the researcher facilitated an anonymous, iterative research process that took place over four rounds, and involved a mixed panel of individuals who comprised expertise in sustainability, rural and upland land use, and estate management. A contemporary and consensual definition of ‘sustainable upland estate management’ was developed by the panel, through the identification of five ‘sustainable estate principles’ (Adapting Management; Broadening Options; Ecosystem Thinking; Linking into Social Fabric; Thinking beyond the Estate) and 16 corresponding indicators (‘opportunities for sustainable estates’) within a ‘Sustainable Estates Toolkit’. The anonymous nature of the process created a safe environment for open dialogue and the researcher played an active role in stimulating participant motivation, creativity and learning.
Supervisor: Price, Martin Francis ; Scott, Alister Sponsor: Henry Angest Foundation Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: land reform ; Scotland ; property ; sustainable development ; participation ; transdisciplinarity ; social learning