Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, today (Thursday 5 Sept) announced the formation of a stakeholder reference group to advise on an implementation plan for Scotland’s Forestry Strategy.
The group, consisting of a range of forestry interests, draws on expertise in the economic, environmental and social drivers and benefits identified in the Strategy.
It will provide input to help formulate key delivery milestones, progress indicators and a reporting schedule for the implementation plan, which will help to realise the 50-year vision for forestry set out in the Strategy.
Mr Ewing said;
“The Strategy, which marked the beginning of a new era for forestry in Scotland, clearly sets out our far-sighted vision and ambitions for the future.
“Having smashed the planting targets for this year, we are already making progress on delivering those ambitions but forestry can, and will do more. It has a pivotal role in tackling the climate emergency and steering us towards becoming a low carbon economy, in driving forward our rural economy, and in delivering more of the health and social benefits enjoyed by communities across Scotland.
“Realising our ambitions will be a national endeavour involving partners and organisations in the public, private and third sectors, whose input into the implementation plan will help to identify what needs to be done, how each of us can best play our part and how we can evidence our actions.”
Scottish Forestry, on behalf of the Scottish Government, will co-ordinate the development of the implementation plan, which will be published by 1 April 2020.
The first meeting of the group will be on 5 September. Other stakeholders will also be consulted by the Scottish Government / Scottish Forestry in the course of developing the implementation framework.
Mr Ewing has written to sector stakeholders following publication of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government (Tuesday 3 Sept), to urge their support and engagement with delivering on key commitments – including planting 12,000 hectares over the coming year, supported by an additional £5million investment in 19/20.