The publication of this Action Plan meets the requirements of Proposal 1 of Scotland's first Land Use Strategy which was laid before Parliament on 17 March 2011. The Action Plan focuses on the actions required to deliver the Strategy's Proposals. The Action Plan also comments on the mainstreaming of the Principles for Sustainable Land Use through public policy and the contribution the private sector may choose to make.
The Land Use Strategy set out a long term Vision towards 2050:
A Scotland where we fully recognise, understand and value the importance of our land resources, and where our plans and decisions about land use deliver improved and enduring benefits, enhancing the wellbeing of our nation.
The Strategy also articulated three Objectives relating to economic prosperity, environmental quality and communities:
- Land-based businesses working with nature to contribute more to Scotland's prosperity
- Responsible stewardship of Scotland's natural resources delivering more benefits to Scotland's people
- Urban and rural communities better connected to the land, with more people enjoying the land and positively influencing land use
In order to move us towards the Vision for Scotland and to achieve these Objectives the Strategy identified ten Principles for Sustainable Land Use. The application of these Principles to all major decisions affecting the use of land will, over time, deliver the three Objectives set out above. The Strategy also identified thirteen Proposals to be taken forward by Scottish Government and its SEARS partners during its five-year lifetime. The Proposals represent actions that we need to work on now such as research and evidence, guidance or mainstreaming into policy, all contributing to the application of the concepts in the Land Use Strategy to public policy development in Scotland.
We are committed to the publication of an annual progress statement which will record and monitor progress against delivery of the Proposals. The annual Progress Statement will be published mid-year.