The Co-ordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science ( CAMERAS) is a partnership  established to ensure that Scotland's marine environment and rural science supports the delivery of the Scottish Government's purpose and priorities.
The Scottish Government's purpose is to focus government and public services towards creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
The Government Economic Strategy ( GES) describes how it will deliver this purpose and sets out a number of priorities and opportunities relevant to this evidence strategy, including:
- Transition to a low carbon economy
- Key growth sectors in Food and Drink, Energy and Sustainable Tourism
- Maximising the social and economic opportunities offered by Scotland's rich and diverse natural environment
- A focus on Place that emphasises the role of communities and recognises the unique features of different parts of Scotland
Effective Government is vital for the delivery of the Scottish Government's Purpose, with the public sector having a leadership role in optimising the use of resources, improving cooperation and aligning their activities to achieve the outcomes desired for the people of Scotland. CAMERAS aims to align and coordinate the scientific activity of partner organisations to make best use of resource and enhance support to Scottish Government policy development and delivery. To deliver this aim, CAMERAS partners have set out their high-level priorities and objectives in the Scottish Marine Science Strategy (2010-15), the Focus on Freshwater Science (2011) and the Scottish Environmental Monitoring Strategy (2011).
This CAMERAS Evidence Strategy for Rural Affairs and the Terrestrial Environment (2014-2019) is being developed within the context of increasing constraints on public sector resources. The strategy aims to make best use of resources through:
- strengthening collaboration and co-ordination between CAMERAS partners in rural affairs and the terrestrial environment
- improving the delivery of an integrated evidence base to users.
Evidence: Is defined here as reliable and robust information that can be used to inform sound decisions in developing and implementing policy. This includes economics, statistics, natural scientific information, social research, analysis, advice, monitoring and surveillance.
The time-frame: This strategy aims to improve the delivery of integrated evidence to support policy makers over five years from 2014 to 2019. Implementation will be through development and delivery of evidence plans lasting 6-24 months which will focus on the current evidence needs of users. There will be a rolling programme of evidence plans over the five years, allowing new priorities to be addressed as they emerge.
The context: The four CAMERAS strategies are complementary in their focus and approach (see diagram). This strategy complements the Marine and Freshwater Strategies through its focus on rural affairs and the terrestrial environment. The evidence plans and outputs that flow from this strategy will draw on information from a range of sources, including that produced under the CAMERAS Environmental Monitoring Strategy and that provided by RESAS through in-house and commissioned research and analysis. Implementation of this strategy will take account of the actions being taken to deliver the other CAMERAS strategies and will seek to identify areas of potential overlap and synergy.
Contribution to CAMERAS Objectives from this Evidence Strategy and other CAMERAS Strategies
This strategy seeks to identify evidence needs relevant to multiple CAMERAS partners. It does not seek to be an exhaustive identification of all the priorities of individual organisations, nor does it seek to replace their statutory evidence requirements. Evidence needs that are essential for the delivery of individual partners' operational work will continue to be a core part of their business.
The development of evidence plans in priority areas is likely to identify longer-term research needs. Whilst such research will not be commissioned through this strategy, the needs identified are expected to inform partners' longer-term research plans, including the RESAS Research Strategy for 2016-21.
Other evidence users and providers: CAMERAS partners have developed this strategy with Scottish Government policy makers and a number of other users and providers of relevant evidence. There are many organisations in addition to CAMERAS partners, who are important users and providers of relevant evidence and it is essential that these are engaged, as appropriate, in evidence planning.