Information

Environment strategy: initial monitoring framework

Overview of the initial selection of indicators for the environment strategy for Scotland monitoring framework and plans for reporting progress.


Annex B: Technical information on indicators: 

Outcome: Scotland’s nature is protected and restored with flourishing biodiversity and clean and healthy air, water, seas and soils

Indicator title: Composite biodiversity indicator

Indicator description: Under development. 

Status of Scotland’s biodiversity, based on changes in the abundance and distribution of a wide range of species.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Indicator title: Air pollutant emissions

Indicator description: Trends in annual emissions of the eight main air pollutants in Scotland.

Relevant targets (and their origin): Targets limiting annual emissions of each pollutant.

(Statutory target at the UK level from the National Emission Ceilings Directive Regulations 2018[40])

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://naei.beis.gov.uk/reports/reports?section_id=8

Indicator title: Freshwater condition

Indicator description: Percentage of rivers and lochs achieving Good or better ecological status.

Relevant targets (and their origin): Targets for achieving Good or better ecological status are set through the statutory River Basin Management Plans[41] process. 

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): The data for this indicator is not yet published. SEPA will present it here: https://www.sepa.org.uk/data-visualisation/water-classification-hub/

Indicator title: Marine environmental quality

(i) Clean seas

Indicator description: The percentage of biogeographical regions with acceptably low levels of chemical contaminants.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/marine-environment

Indicator title: Marine environmental quality

(ii) Beach litter

Indicator description: Quantity of litter found in surveys of Scottish beaches.

Frequency of reporting: Every 6 years

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): http://marine.gov.scot/sma/assessment/beach-litter

Indicator title: Marine environmental quality

(iii) Plastic litter ingested by seabirds

Indicator description: Percentage of fulmars exceeding a level of 0.1g of plastic in their stomachs.

Relevant targets (and their origin): OSPAR target of less than 10% of fulmars exceeding a level of 0.1 g of plastic in their stomachs.

(Derived from OSPAR commission ecological quality objective (EcoQO)[42])

Frequency of reporting: Every 6 years

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://oap.ospar.org/en/ospar-assessments/committee-assessments/eiha-thematic-assessments/marine-litter/plastic-particles-in-fulmar-stomachs-north-sea/

Indicator title: Marine environmental quality

(iv) Damage to seafloor habitats

Indicator description: Extent of physical damage to seafloor habitats.

Frequency of reporting: Every 6 years

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): http://marine.gov.scot/sma/assessment/predicted-extent-physical-disturbance-seafloor

Indicator title: Soil health

Indicator description: To be confirmed.

Options for undertaking additional work to identify strategic indicators of soil health are being explored.

Outcome: We play our full role in tackling the global climate emergency and limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C

Indicator title: Greenhouse gas emissions 

Indicator description: GHG emissions as a percentage change from the baseline figures for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in 1990 and hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride in 1995.

Relevant targets (and their origin): Reduce Scotland’s emissions of all greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2045 at the latest, with interim targets for reductions of at least 56% by 2020, 75% by 2030, 90% by 2040.

(Statutory target from Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019[43])

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/greenhouse-gas-emissions

Indicator title: Scotland’s carbon footprint

Indicator description: Measure of the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide as a result of the goods and services consumed in Scotland.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/carbon-footprint

Indicator title: Nature-based solutions to climate change

(i) Hectares of woodland created per year

Indicator description: Hectares of woodland created per year.

Relevant targets (and their origin): Annual target of 12,000 hectares in 2020/21 rising to 18,000 hectares in 2024/25.

(Derived from ‘Securing a green recovery on a path to net-zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 – update’[44])

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/data-downloads/

(National Statistics)

Indicator title: Nature-based solutions to climate change

(ii) Woodland ecological condition score

Indicator description: A measure of ecological condition of all woodland types in Scotland, using 15 ecological indicators.

Frequency of reporting: Every 5 years

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/national-forest-inventory/what-our-woodlands-and-tree-cover-outside-woodlands-are-like-today-8211-nfi-inventory-reports-and-woodland-map-reports/nfi-woodland-ecological-condition/

Indicator title: Nature-based solutions to climate change

(iii) Hectares of peatland restored per year

Indicator description: Hectares of peatland restored per year.

Relevant targets (and their origin): Restore 250,000 hectares of peatland by 2030

(Derived from ‘Climate Change Plan: third report on policies and proposals 2018-2032’[45])

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): Data collated by NatureScot and Peatland Action.

Outcome: We use and re-use resources wisely and have ended the throw-away culture

Indicator title: Total waste generated

Indicator description: Annual amount of waste generated in Scotland from all sources – household, commercial, industrial and construction and demolition.

Relevant targets (and their origin): 15% reduction against 2011 in 2025

(Derived from ‘Making Things Last: a circular economy strategy for Scotland’[46])

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/waste/waste-data/waste-data-reporting/waste-data-for-scotland/

Indicator title: Carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste

Indicator description: Annual worldwide GHG emissions associated with Scotland’s waste.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/our-work/carbon-metric-publications

Indicator title: Scotland’s material footprint

Indicator description: Under development.

Total quantity of raw materials worldwide used to produce the goods and services we consume in Scotland.

Outcome: Our thriving, sustainable economy conserves and grows our natural assets

Indicator title: Natural Capital Accounts – annual monetary flows, excluding fossil fuels 

Indicator description: Annual monetary flows of the services supplied by our natural capital, excluding flows created by fossil fuels.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-natural-capital-accounts-2020/

Indicator title: Natural Capital Asset Index

Indicator description: Index that tracks the capacity of Scotland’s terrestrial ecosystems to provide benefits to people, based on changes in habitat extent and quality.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/planning-and-development/social-and-economic-benefits-nature/natural-capital-asset-index

Outcome: Our healthy environment supports a fairer, healthier, more inclusive society

Indicator title: Visits to the outdoors

Indicator description: Proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/visits-outdoors

(National Statistics)

Indicator title: Access to green and blue space

Indicator description: Proportion of adults who live within a 5 minute walk of their local green or blue space.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/access-green-and-blue-space

(National Statistics)

Indicator title: Active travel

Indicator description: The proportion of short journeys less than 2 miles that are made by walking. This indicator also includes the proportion of journeys under 5 miles made by cycling.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/journeys-active-travel

(National Statistics)

Outcome: We are responsible global citizens with a sustainable international footprint

Indicator title: Global environmental impact of Scotland’s consumption

Indicator description: To be confirmed.

Options for indicators to understand and track the overseas environmental impact of our consumption in Scotland are being considered. An indicator of Scotland’s water footprint is currently under development.

Indicator title: Percentage of Scotland’s waste managed in Scotland

Indicator description: For each type of treatment (recycled, recovered or disposed), the annual amount of Scotland’s waste managed in Scotland by volume and as a percentage of Scottish waste managed anywhere.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/waste/waste-data/waste-data-reporting/waste-data-for-scotland/

Indicator title: Sustainability of fish stocks

Indicator description: Percentage of Scottish fish stocks which are fished sustainably i.e. fished at or below the level at which the fish are able to replenish themselves, without stocks being depleted.

Frequency of reporting: Annual

Data Source (and whether based on National Statistics): https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/chart/sustainability-fish-stocks 

(National Statistics)

Contact

Email: susie.turpie@gov.scot

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