6th May 2016
The Scottish Government’s update of the National Performance Framework (NPF), published in March, included “Increase natural capital” as one of five new National Indicators.
The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital has been calling for a natural capital indicator within the National Performance Framework and welcomes the inclusion of this new National Indicator, which it would now like to see the put to good use in the new Parliament. The indicator is included with the recognition that “Investing in Scotland’s natural capital is seen as fundamental to maintaining a healthy and resilient economy.” The Indicator is seen as relating to all five of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Objectives published in 2007: Wealthier & Fairer, Smarter, Healthier, Safer & Stronger and Greener.
The Natural Capital Asset Index, developed by Scottish Natural Heritage, was chosen as the indicator to monitor the change in natural capital. The Index measures the quality and quantity of habitats in Scotland, as well as their potential to deliver different ecosystem services. The Index is included with recognition that it still requires further development and refinement to produce a fully satisfactory measure. The Scottish Forum will continue to engage its membership to help support the ongoing development of the Index.
The National Performance Framework is intended to give strategic direction for policy making in the public sector, and a clear direction to move to outcomes-based policy making. The Framework provides a clear vision for Scotland with broad measures of national wellbeing covering a range of economic, health, social and environmental indicators and targets.