3 Integration of Environmental Considerations into the Forestry Strategy
3.1.1 This section explains how key environmental considerations were identified and how these were taken into account in the development of the final version of Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029.
3.1.2 From the outset, the preparation of the environmental baseline for the SEA helped to frontload environmental considerations into the draft strategy. Subsequent consultation with the SEA Consultation Authorities assisted in highlighting key environmental issues for further consideration.
3.1.3 During the development of the draft strategy, the Scottish Government drew on evidence on the potential key issues facing forestry over the next 10 years (the period of the Strategy), and the requirements of the Act, as a basis for developing the 50-year vision and the 10-year economic, social and environmental objectives and priorities.
3.1.4 These key issues, and the scope of the strategy's vision, objectives and priorities for action were then discussed with a broad range of Scottish Government policy teams, representatives from the SEA consultation authorities, and external stakeholders.
3.1.5 A number of structured discussions took place with a range of stakeholders, including, amongst others: the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor), the Community Woodland Association, Forest Policy Group, the RSPB, the UK Forest Products Association, Woodland Trust Scotland and the Central Scotland Green Network Trust.
3.1.6 A Reference Group was also formed to feed into the development of the draft strategy; increase the effectiveness of the formal consultation process by supplementing and facilitating wider consultation and liaison activity associated with the strategy; and provide views on, and insight into the reaction of others during the consultation process. The group's members represented a wide range of interests and expertise in forestry and land use in Scotland (more details are available in the Scottish Government's report on the consultation which is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-forestry-strategy-20192029-report-consultation-process-undertaken/).
3.1.7 The 10 priorities in the consultation draft strategy were subject to environmental assessment with the results of the assessment informing their further development.4 The findings of the SEA
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