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Forestry and Land Scotland’s commitment to care for Scotland’s national forests and land will be at the forefront of the Scottish Government’s drive to mitigate the impact of the global climate emergency.

That was the message from Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, today (Wednesday 9 October) at the launch event for Forestry and Land Scotland’s first corporate plan.

As well as reaffirming the organisation’s commitment to deliver a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits for the people of Scotland, the plan outlines a step-change in efforts to increase forestry’s contribution to Scotland achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Speaking at the launch event in Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth, Mr Ewing said;

“In rising to the challenge presented by the global climate emergency the Scottish Government has accepted the recommendations of the UK Committee on Climate Change and is aiming to see Scotland achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest – earlier than any other UK nation.

“Forestry has a huge part to play in helping to meet this target, by locking in significant amounts of carbon within trees, soil and peatlands. As a new executive agency of the Scottish Government, Forestry and Land Scotland will play a hugely important role in driving forward our ambitions for forestry and land management.

“FLS will continue to manage Scotland’s national forests to support jobs, businesses and livelihoods in our rural communities, to contribute to our biodiversity and landscape, and to provide outdoor spaces for locals and visitors to enjoy and benefit from.

“But FLS will also seek to maximise the climate contribution of Scotland’s forests and land by increasing renewable energy generation capacity and entering into corporate partnerships that will generate more revenue to lock up more carbon.

“We face a significant challenge and it is clear that Forestry and Land Scotland has a hugely important part to play in the years ahead. Having ushered Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) into existence in law on 01 April 2019, I am proud in Scotland’s Climate Week to launch this, its first corporate plan.“

The Corporate plan sets out the vision and mission for the new agency - to look after Scotland’s forests and land, for the benefit of all, now and for the future and to nurture forests and land that Scotland can be proud of.

It makes clear that key elements of this will include engaging communities and working with the private, public and third sectors to plant more trees and deliver more economic, environmental and social benefits to the people and communities of Scotland.

The Plan also sets out five corporate outcomes for Forestry and Land Scotland that will contribute to the Scottish Government’s wider outcomes based approach, which is set out in the National Performance Framework. It will:

  • Support a sustainable rural economy by managing the National Forests and Land in a way that encourages sustainable business growth, development opportunities, jobs and investments.
  • Ensure that Scotland’s National Forests and Land are looked after; biodiversity is protected and enhanced; and more environmental services are provided to people.
  • Ensure that everyone can visit and enjoy Scotland’s National Forests and Land to connect with nature, have fun, benefit their health and wellbeing and have the opportunity to engage in our community decision making.
  • Be a supportive, safe and inclusive organisation that provides exciting careers, professional development and strives to be an employer of choice.
  • Be recognised as a high performing, efficient and effective, financially sustainable organisation that continues to transform and adapt.

Corporate Plan 2019-2022 (PDF)

Notes to editors

  1. The new FLS Corporate Plan will replace both the existing Forest Enterprise Scotland Corporate Plan (which covers the period 2015 – 2019) and Strategic Directions (which covered the period 2013 – 2016) now that the new organisational arrangements in Scotland are in place.
  2. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 April 2019, following completion of the devolution of forestry as a result of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018. It replaces Forest Enterprise Scotland.
  3. The purpose of FLS is to manage forests and land owned by Scottish Minsters in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; and delivers benefits for people and nature. FLS may manage other forested and non-forested land by arrangement, as set out in the Act.
  4. The primary focus of FLS, in delivering its purpose, is to support Scottish Ministers in their role as leaders of Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Development through their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.
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  6. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 0131 370 5059 or