The land and how it is used has literally shaped Scotland, and now there are new challenges from climate change and other modern-day pressures. In response, the Scottish Government has published the Land Use Strategy
that sets out a high-level, long-term agenda for sustainable land use across Scotland. The PDF below shows our response to the Government's consultation on the Land Use Strategy.
The Scottish Government’s vision is threefold:
- a prosperous and sustainable low-carbon economy, underpinned by successful land-based businesses;
- flourishing natural environments; and
- vibrant communities connected to the land.
The purpose of the Strategy is to guide, support and inform all those involved in deciding how land is to be used, by setting out a vision and long-term objectives for an integrated approach to sustainable land use in Scotland.
Scottish Land & Estates’s land use policy position:
- Scottish Land & Estates has always been supportive of an integrated approach to land use. This is even more important now with the competing demands on land for food, fuel and environmental sustainability, all in the context of climate change;
- Scottish Land & Estates welcomes this ambitious strategy which, if properly constructed, has the potential to be an important tool in shaping an integrated land use policy for Scotland;
- The overriding theme for any land use strategy has to be that economic viability of land based business is the key to social and environmental sustainability;
- The strategy must be dovetailed with funding and planning regimes to be effective;
- Many estates are already good models of integrated land use and we welcome the strategy’s emphasis on sharing best practice;
- The ethos of the vision and objectives of the strategy must permeate all agencies of government including local authorities, SEPA, SNH and the Forestry Commission;
- A predictable, light touch policy framework is vital for successful land based businesses to thrive;
- The strategy emphasises the public interest in Scotland’s land but this must be properly balanced against respect for private property rights.
Central to our work in this policy area is CAP Reform. Scottish Land and Estates believes that the CAP should ensure the maintenance of Europe’s food production capacity. It should help to manage volatility and it should deal with imbalanced competitive structures in the food chain. But it should also support the delivery of environmental and social public goods. Scottish Land & Estates respresents its members' interests in the debate on the future of CAP not only in Europe but as a member of the CAP Stakeholder Group, which
ffer advice and views to Scottish Government on the implications for Scotland of EC proposals for post 2013 CAP Reform, and various technical working groups.