The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is encouraging individuals and organisations to share their views on the potential impact of new, devolved legislation for forestry, as it examines the Scottish Government’s Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill at stage 1.
Convener of the Committee, Edward Mountain MSP commented:
“Forestry is a key area with the potential to bring huge social and economic benefits to Scotland’s rural economy. This Bill will take Scotland a step closer to fully completing devolution of the sector, as well as providing Scottish Ministers with wider powers to manage forestry and other land. We want to make sure that this updated approach to forestry and land management in Scotland is fair, proportionate and fit for purpose.”
The Convener continued:
“The Bill has a focus on sustainable forest management and more broadly on sustainable development. It also contains provisions surrounding the acquisition and disposal of land and the felling and restocking of forests. Key questions for the committee are: is this Bill fit for purpose, how will it work in practice and what will the impact be on groups such as the forest industry, community groups and land owners?”.
The Bill has three stated policy aims:
- Enabling forestry to be fully accountable to Scottish Ministers.
- Creating a modernised legislative framework to support, develop and regulate forestry.
- Allowing Scottish Ministers to manage forestry and other land with greater flexibility.
The Committee’s call for evidence closes on Wednesday 16 August 2017. On completion of its scrutiny of the bill at Stage 1, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee will share its findings with the Scottish Government.
Call for Evidence
The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee scrutinises policy proposals relating to rural affairs, transport and connectivity. It comes to a view after taking comprehensive evidence from, and engaging with, a wide range of stakeholders ‘on the frontline’ and applies authoritative, expert, effective and influential scrutiny to policy.
Photographs of the Committee and Convener are available free of charge.
The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee invites all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence on the Forestry (Scotland) Bill and its likely impact. The Committee welcomes views on all of the Bill’s proposals. In particular, the Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions:
- Does the Bill achieve its aims and are you in favour overall? Is there anything else that you feel should be included or excluded from the Bill?
- What are your views on the Bill’s statutory requirement to produce a Scottish Government Forestry Strategy based on sustainable forest management?
- The Bill will provide new powers to Scottish Ministers over subjects such as tree health and the ability to conduct research. What are your views on these powers?
- The Scottish Government’s intention is that the Bill should provide greater flexibility and wider powers in relation to land management, with a focus on sustainable development. The Bill also contains provisions regarding compulsory purchase. How do you feel this will work in practice?
- The Bill will update the regulatory regime and enforcement powers for felling and restocking trees. Do you feel it is fit for purpose?
- Do you have any comments on the bill in relation to human rights or equalities?
Further information and documentation on the Bill is available at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/104491.aspx
How to submit your evidence
Before making a submission, please read our Policy on Treatment of Written Evidence by Subject and Mandatory Committees.
Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to: firstname.lastname@example.org