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Land Use Strategies outside Scotland


Land Use Strategies outside Scotland

The development of Scotland's first Land Use Strategy offers a landmark opportunity to define the way Scotland's land is used for generations to come and in particular to deal with the mitigation and adaptation efforts required under the recently enacted Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The aim of this research project is to set out the existing evidence base on land use strategies (or similar) outside Scotland.

Due to the novel nature of the proposed land use strategy, there is a need by the Scottish Government to identify and seek further evidence of current policy efforts in the field in Europe and elsewhere. The opportunity to usefully learn any lessons from practice outside Scotland have been taken by analysing four case studies from Europe (Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the metropolitan area of Helsinki) and one from Australia. This study includes lessons from practical application and not only similar proposed strategies in the pipeline for implementation.

The project findings inform the Scottish Government’s approach to developing its own strategy. The research thereby provides evidence to assist Scotland in developing a successful land use strategy. The specific objectives for the research project were to:

  1. identify land use strategies (or similar) produced by governments outside Scotland relevant to the scope of the Land Use Strategy being developed for Scotland;
  2. identify what the respective strategies are comprised of, their scope and how they are structured;
  3. identify what key issues, priorities and stakeholders the respective strategies cover and how they are addressed;
  4. indicate the respective strategies’ relative level of ambition and whether new policies are contained;
  5. indicate where such strategies are accompanied by an action plan and what any timeframe for action is;
  6. indicate, where possible, how the respective strategies link into other government strategies.

Findings: How is climate change addressed in the reviewed strategies?

  • Climate change is part of all strategies but the link is of different quality (just mentioning to detailed mitigation/adaptation measures)
  • Newest policy developments at the EU level are not fully considered in the reviewed strategies
  • Only the region of Helsinki sees adaption to and mitigation from climate change as an entry point for land use planning. In all other cases the issue of climate change or issues related to climate change (e.g. flooding) have been “hooked on” at a later stage.
  • Quantitative objectives directly related to land use and climate change are not provided. However goals related to national Kyoto targets can be found in Helsinki, Germany and Australia.
  • Nevertheless strategies contain several measures to mitigate/adapt.....

The final report [pdf, 1.5 MB, English] is available for download.

The Scottish Government, United Kingdom
Ecologic Institute US (EIUS), United States
February 2010 to May 2013
Project ID
Land Use Strategy, climate change, review, Scotland, global