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The Scottish Soil Framework

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ANNEX B: SOIL FOCUS GROUP

Draft Terms of Reference

B.1 The Soil Focus Group's ( SFG) overall aim is to bring together the key delivery partners and stakeholders in the Scottish Soil Framework, and to advise the Scottish Government on the Framework's implementation. The Group will be established as an informal forum with members invited onto the Group by the Scottish Government (it is not a non-departmental public body).

Aims

B.2 The Group will be asked to:

  • raise awareness of the Scottish Soil Framework, and provide a platform for liaison and pooling of resources and information amongst key delivery partners and stakeholders.
  • develop and build on the activities set out in the Scottish Soil Framework, identifying additional actions where necessary. Priority areas are likely to include: climate change, flooding, national food policy and water quality.
  • provide progress reports on the actions outlined in the Scottish Soil Framework, and their contribution towards specific soil outcomes, in order to support Scottish Government reporting.
  • advise on the review, development and integration of policies in areas relevant to soil use and management.
  • advise the Scottish Government on implications of changes in the soils policy context at both national and European level.

Membership

B.3 The Group will be chaired by the Scottish Government, with a secretariat also provided by Scottish Government. Membership will include representatives from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Historic Scotland, Crofters Commission, National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Rural Property & Business Association, Environment LINK, Local Authorities, as well as Scottish Government policy and research leads, land managers, research organisations and other stakeholders.

B.4 Members should be able to draw on the expertise and resources of their particular constituent organisations to help deliver the objectives of the Group.

B.5 Membership of the Group will not attract any remuneration.

Duration & Working Pattern

B.6 The Group will not have a fixed lifespan and will be reviewed after 2 years, approximately half way through the lifespan of the Scottish Soil Framework.

B.7 The Group will convene at regular intervals to be decided by liaison between the Secretariat and members as far as possible, and will also maintain contact, share information and conduct business via email between meetings. It will seek advice from appropriate experts and will have the authority to delegate specific pieces of work to group members and organisations.

B.8 The Group will report regularly to Scottish Government on progress towards achieving the actions and outcomes outlined in the Scottish Soil Framework.

Secretariat

B.9 The Secretariat will be provided by the Scottish Government's Water, Air, Soils & Flooding Division.

B.10 The Secretariat will provide direct administrative support to the Group, including arranging meetings, recording outcomes, preparing and commissioning papers and managing the Group's work programme.

B.11 In line with the principles of open government and to assist Members, papers and proceedings will be available on the Scottish Government's website.

Soils & Contaminated Land Team
Scottish Government
February 2009