Delivering Community Benefits from Land - good practice guidelines released for Scotland

Delivering Community Benefits from Land - good practice guidelines released for Scotland
Photo by Sergey Shmidt / Unsplash
  • According to new guidelines published by the Scottish Land Commission (SLC), "community benefits" are defined as:
    • For the local geographical community – they are in addition to the public benefits nature restoration projects provide such as clean air and water, carbon sequestration and biodiversity gains, and in addition to maintaining existing rights such as access rights.
    • Meaningful social and economic benefits that align with local strategic plans and promote the sustainable development of communities.
    • Rooted in engagement and collaboration with the community – there is no one-size-fits-all approach, instead they are specific and meaningful for that community.
    • Tailored to the community’s needs and agreed through deliberation, when possible.
    • Measurable and reported on.
    • Proportionate to the impact of a landholding and how that landholding is used.
  • There are endless ways in which benefits can be provided, but SLC are particularly encouraging people to think beyond a community benefits fund, to the ways in which communities can benefit in multiple ways from land.
  • SLC's guidelines include helpful suggestions on using the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement and Community Wealth Building framework as a basis. These include:
    • Supporting community ownership, lease and use of land.
    • Giving communities meaningful input into decision making over land.
    • Creating fair work opportunities.
    • Collaborating to support local enterprise and community groups.
    • Climate adaptations.
  • Scottish Land Commission are also working with the NFCA's Community Benefits Standard project, with BSI on the UK standards development and with the Scottish Government on their nature market framework development. They also convene a community benefits advisory group who have been very helpful in informing the production of this timely guidance.

For NFCA Members Only