We have published a discussion paper drawing together our current thinking on some of the key questions about community benefits from investment in natural capital.
We have proposed a definition of community benefits in this context and a set of expectations about how community benefits should be identified and delivered. For the purposes of this paper, we are referring to investments in natural capital on land.
We have been working with investors, landowners, and other key organisations to explore different approaches to delivering community benefits from investment in natural capital. A series of case studies outline some of the broad approaches taken to in delivering community benefits from natural capital. Personalised support is being provided through our Good Practice Programme for a small number of innovators who want to explore different approaches to community benefits, including shared governance models, financial packages, and local economic development. Working with others involved in this field, we will provide more detailed thought and guidance for policy and practice in mid-2023.
This is a rapidly developing area and we are keen to hear from those already working in the field to test our thinking. We want to identify realistic but ambitious expectations for how investment in natural capital enhancement, restoration and creation projects can deliver community benefits in addition to wider public benefits and private benefits.
Responses to this paper are welcome and can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 20 March 2023.
Delivering community benefit from natural capital development and investment is at an early stage in Scotland. Although interest from the private sector has grown in recent years, many projects have not yet reached the point of delivering community benefit, and a variety of different approaches are being taken. At such an early stage in the development of community benefit as a field, we have selected six case studies that are illustrative of current practice on the ground. The results can be used to shape what will be considered good practice as the concept continues to develop.