A Scotland with a strong and dynamic relationship between its land and people, where all land contributes to a modern and successful country, and where rights and responsibilities in relation to land are fully recognised and fulfilled
for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Scotland's land is one of our most valuable assets, vital to our national prosperity and to our wellbeing as individuals and communities. In an inclusive and progressive Scotland, it is only right that everyone benefits from it.
The Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, the first such statement in the world, will help shape the thinking on land issues in Scotland over the coming years. In keeping with the terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the Statement adopts a human rights approach to land rights and responsibilities and it signals our determination to continue leading the way in ensuring that Scotland's urban and rural land contributes to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and to social justice.
I am pleased that many people and organisations helped shape this Statement, by responding to the consultation earlier in the year, by engaging in constructive dialogue with us on the vision and the principles and by contributing ideas and material for the case studies. I wish to thank everyone who contributed to and strengthened the Statement.
There are, of course, different views on how we can best ensure that the relationship between Scotland's land and its people is strengthened and how we should ensure that Scotland's land contributes to the common good, while properly balancing public and private interests.
I welcome the ongoing debate on the approach we adopt to land in Scotland and I am delighted that it will be informed by the work of the new Scottish Land Commission, which was formally established in April this year and is already beginning to provide drive and focus on a range of land issues. In its Programme for Government 2017-18, the Scottish Government has set an ambitious agenda for the Land Commission to examine a number of options for further radical land reform and to provide robust guidance and codes of practice.
The Land Commission will have regard to the Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement when carrying out its work and I anticipate that they may in due course provide guidance on its application, building on the advisory notes and case studies. These help to explain how the Principles can be realised on the ground and to illustrate the range of good practice already taking place.
I am delighted to be publishing this Statement. I am confident that it will make an important contribution to ensuring that Scotland's land and our approach to it contribute to a modern and successful Scotland, where rights and responsibilities in relation to land are fully recognised and fulfilled.
Email: Chris Bierley, email@example.com
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House