6 Comments on the Environmental Report
6.1 Questions on the Environmental Report
6.1.1 The two questions used in the consultation to help frame responses on the Environmental Report are provided below. Corresponding views and comments received have been summarised in the sections that follow.
1. Do you have any views on the evidence set out in the Strategic Environmental Report?
2. Do you agree with the conclusions and recommendations set out in the Strategic Environmental Report?
6.2 Do you have any views on the evidence set out in the Environmental Report?
6.2.1 Just over two-thirds of respondents did not have any views on the evidence set out in the Environmental Report (14, 70%). Where respondents did provide views, a long list of individual points were raised. Examples include that there could be reference to the State of Nature 2019 report and the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) report as referencing the condition of biodiversity in Scotland and more broadly. The same respondent felt that the report could acknowledge the scale of the issue of biodiversity and habitat loss more appropriately.
6.2.2 One respondent felt that the report could make reference to production technology in the finfish aquaculture sector and its consequences for animal health/ welfare, environmental impact and impact on wild fish.
6.2.3 One organisation reported a perceived lack of clarity in relation to the historic environment where undesignated but known sites were omitted from the text and figures in the Strategic Environmental Report, and therefore felt that there was an incomplete consideration and protection of historic environment (designated and undesignated).
6.2.4 SG response: The Scottish Government welcomes and notes this feedback. Whilst the comments received and suggested evidence sources are not considered to alter the results of the assessment, where applicable, they will be noted for future reference.
6.2.5 Other respondents commented that the environmental baseline provided a comprehensive analysis of the different pressures facing each of the SEA topics and welcomed consideration in the baseline of the pressures facing the historic environment.
6.2.6 One respondent commented that they would expect to have sight of an SEA Statement as the Plan is finalised to take account of the findings of the SEA report and the views expressed during the consultation.
6.2.7 SG response: This Post Adoption Statement is the document referred to and will be submitted to the SEA Gateway and also made publicly available. In addition to this, an advert will also be placed in at least one newspaper that circulates in the area to which the plan or programme relates, outlining the plan's adoption and this Statement’s publication.
6.3 Do you agree with the conclusions and recommendations set out in the Strategic Environmental Report?
6.3.1 Over 70% of respondents agreed with the conclusions and recommendations set out in the Strategic Environmental Report. Two respondents provided further commentary including one respondent who felt that monitoring and evaluation arrangements could have greater links to the Climate Change Plan, Climate Change Risk Assessment and Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The other respondent noted that they were content with the methodology used to consider the environmental effects, the thought processes involved, consideration of reasonable alternatives, monitoring arrangements, and the findings and recommendations of the assessment.
6.3.2 A specific comment was provided on the findings and recommendations relating to the historic environment, stating that more could have been made of the benefits associated with building maintenance and improvements within the historic environment (and contribution to place-making).
6.3.3 SG response: Responses to the Consultation on Reporting, Monitoring and Reviews of the Plan are discussed further in section 8.2 below.