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National Performance

Scotland Performs

PLEASE NOTE: The new and updated National Performance Framework can now be found at the following link:

We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations

Why is this National Outcome important?

We must all live as part of nature. We must live within environmental limits, adapting our society to a greener approach. We must respect the planet's environment, resources and biodiversity. Only in this way can we achieve a sustainable economy which provides prosperity and opportunities for all, a society in which environmental costs fall on those who impose them and efficient use of natural resources is incentivised. Every generation must also value the best of the buildings created by previous generations and learn from what they tell us.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Regulation (e.g. of industrial emissions, the water environment, waste and listed buildings) and public spending (e.g. grants to landowners) continue to be important, as is securing public understanding of the importance of respecting our environment and how to manage our finite resources. That, in turn, will depend on better education and better science, both better communicated.

In schools, for example, Learning for Sustainability is an integral part of Curriculum for Excellence.  The Scottish Government also supports the eco-schools programme, and all education sectors are making use of buildings, landscapes and the natural world as teaching resources.

The media have a responsibility to help raise awareness and understanding of our environment.

Visits to Scotland's seascapes and historic, built and natural landscapes can motivate people to be more interested and engaged in environmental protection.

All public and private bodies need to become strong advocates for the environment.

The voluntary sector is especially skilled in engaging members of the public in local community improvement works and in the promotion of capacity building and local decision-making.

What is the Government's role?

To help protect and enhance our natural and built environment, the Scottish Government will ensure a proportionate approach to regulation and also:

  • Improve the water environment and drinking water quality through support for Scottish Water's record £3.5bn investment programme, and reduce pollution and flood risk through funding for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency

  • Work in partnership to deliver the Priority Projects in Scotland’s Biodiversity – a Route map to 2020

  • Enter into rural development contracts under the Scotland Rural Development Programme to help farmers, crofters and others to conserve, enhance and manage the rural environment

  • Ensure the continued sustainable management of seas and coasts and to balance the competing interests for use and protection of the sea

  • Implement stricter Greening requirements under the Common Agricultural Policy

  • Ensure that Historic Environment Scotland’s £40 million budget is allocated to undertake historic building conservation projects; and that the historic environment is located at the heart of a flourishing and sustainable Scotland.

Related Strategic Objectives



Wealthier and Fairer

Related National Indicators

 Improve people's perceptions of their neighbourhood

l Improve the state of Scotland's historic sites

 Improve access to local greenspace

 Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors

 Improve the condition of protected nature sites

l Increase the abundance of terrestrial breeding birds: Biodiversity

l Increase natural capital

up Improve the state of Scotland's Marine Environment

l Reduce Scotland's carbon footprint

 Reduce waste generated