SNH_logoScottish Natural Heritage recently published information about community empowerment and the environment and the SNH approach in relation to community empowerment on their website.

Scotland’s nature and landscapes play an important role in improving people’s health and well-being, supporting economic growth, adapting to climate change and providing us with a strong sense of identity. Getting the most from nature and landscapes, and improving the health and resilience of these natural assets, are key aspects of the ecosystem approach. This approach is strengthened when communities are empowered to look after nature and landscapes and are involved in the decisions that affect them.

SNH will support community empowerment by:

  1. listening to the needs of communities and looking at the skills, knowledge, energy and ideas they can bring to the table
  2. encouraging a wider range of communities, particularly those representing young people or people experiencing some form of exclusion, to get involved
  3. engaging with Gaelic speaking communities in line with our Gaelic Language Plan
  4. providing feedback to communities we work directly with on how their input has influenced our thinking and decision-making
  5. learning from and sharing good practice
  6. identifying opportunities for communities to get more involved in our land holdings
  7. identifying how we can help more communities to take control or ownership of local natural assets, be it a local nature reserve, path network or area of green space
  8. identifying how we can help more communities to get involved in shaping the decisions that affect nature and landscapes
  9. involving communities more in the design and delivery of some of the services we provide