Rural and Environment
Scotland’s Third Land Use Strategy
Our land is the foundation of so many aspects of life here in Scotland. Together with our water, seas and air it supports our lives and provides the natural capital which underpins our economy. That includes supporting food production, providing diverse habitats for biodiversity, enabling the generation of power and providing the inspiring landscapes and leisure space that support our wellbeing. Our land and our natural capital will play a critical role in not only ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change but in delivering the wider environmental, economic and health benefits we seek moving forward.
The UK Committee on Climate Change have been clear that the unique capacity we have to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere through afforestation and peatland restoration will play a key part in Scotland meeting our world leading net zero target.
Such is the importance of this, we recently committed an additional investment of £500m in our natural economy as part of a range of new measures to protect biodiversity, create green jobs and accelerate our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
If we are to achieve the sustainable future that is our aspiration, how we choose to use and manage our land in response to the twin threats of the climate emergency and biodiversity decline will be crucial.
Our consultation on the approach to Scotland’s Third Land Use Strategy, launched today, sets out our vision for how we can work with, support and encourage our land-based sectors as we make a just transition to net-zero.
For the first time, the Strategy brings together key strands of Scottish Government policy that affect land use, and demonstrates how these various policy areas fit together on the ground in a landscape setting. Setting out this landscape based strategic picture highlights how crucial the various aspects of land and land use are to all of our lives, and how we will need to make changes to secure a sustainable future.
I would urge everyone to engage in our consultation on the Land Use Strategy, to help shape our overarching approach for what is a vitally important asset for our environment, economy, our wellbeing, and delivering on our ambition to become a net-zero society.