Getting the best from our land: land use strategy for Scotland

Scotland's land use strategy.

Annex A: Glossary and acronyms

This glossary provides a guide to terms as they are used in the Land Use Strategy.


The variety of life on Earth.


A chemical element which is part of many greenhouse gases, for example carbon dioxide and methane. Greenhouse gas emissions are reported in carbon dioxide equivalents - for which 'carbon' is often used as shorthand.

carbon sequestration

Processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


The term community includes individuals and groups, and can be based on location (for example people who live, work or use an area) or common interest (for example the business community, sports or heritage groups).


A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment, interacting as a functional unit.

the ecosystem approach

A strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way, and which recognises that people with their cultural and varied social needs are an integral part of ecosystems.

ecosystem services

The benefits people obtain from ecosystems; these include provisioning services such as food, water, timber and fibre; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, waste and water quality; cultural services with recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis and nutrient cycling.

land-based businesses

Businesses which derive products and services from the management of land; for example farming, forestry, renewable energy, recreation and tourism.

low-carbon economy

An economy in which less energy and resources are used - domestically, commercially and across the public sector; where energy increasingly comes from sources that produce fewer carbon emissions, such as water, wind, wave and solar power; and where economic opportunities from efficiencies and saving carbon are realised.

prime agricultural land

Land which is capable of producing the widest variety of crops (identified as being of Class 1, 2 or 3.1 in the land capability classification for agriculture, as developed by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute).

public goods

Goods that cannot be withheld from people, even if they do not pay for them.

sustainable development

Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

sustainable land use

Land use that makes its best possible contribution to fulfilling our Objectives, with regard to the Principles in this Strategy, whilst maintaining the land's capacity for future use

vacant and derelict land

Vacant land is land which is unused for the purposes for which it is held and is viewed as an appropriate site for development. This land must either have had prior development on it or preparatory work has taken place in anticipation of future development.

Derelict land is land which has been so damaged by development, that it is incapable of development for beneficial use without rehabilitation. In addition the land must currently not be used for the purpose for which it is held or a use acceptable in the local plan. Land also qualifies as derelict if it has an unremedied previous use which could constrain future development.


Common Agricultural Policy, a system of European Union agricultural subsidies and programmes


Forestry Commission Scotland


A European Union initiative for rural development with a particular community focus, implemented in Scotland through the SRDP - see LEADER stands for (in the French language) Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Economie Rurale


Scotland's Environment and Rural Services, a partnership between eight public bodies aiming to improve the experience among land managers by working together to provide an efficient and effective service - see


Scottish Environment Protection Agency


Scottish Natural Heritage


Scotland Rural Development Programme, a programme of economic, environmental and social measures, designed to develop rural Scotland from 2007 to 2013 (see


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

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