A Scotland in which all parts of society including businesses, NGOs, public bodies and communities recognise our reliance and impact on natural capital, and where leadership drives action to protect, value and rebuild our natural assets, both here and beyond Scotland’s borders.




Be a safe, transparent and vibrant space for members to engage and share ideas, where all contributions are valued and respected


Be aware of new knowledge, new initiatives and take opportunities


Be responsive to learning and flexible to change


Be cooperative, participatory and communicative


The vision of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, as approved by the Steering Group, is supported by its member organisations from public, private and voluntary sectors and the research and education community.





We aim to achieve impact through three key interventions:

Natural capital is part of policy frameworks, economic strategies and delivery plans for the Scottish Government, and risks and trends are routinely monitored.

Building on the Scottish Government’s commitments in relation to natural capital, as expressed in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) and the National Performance Framework, to support a policy framework informed by natural capital thinking, including the use of appropriate business incentives and penalties.

  • The Scottish Government’s expectations in relation to natural capital, as expressed in the Economic Strategy, Programme for Government and the National Performance Framework, are understood across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
  • Scotland’s natural capital risks and trends are routinely monitored by a composite of indicators, including the Natural Capital Asset Index, as an integral part of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.
  • Scotland has a policy framework informed by natural capital thinking, including the use of appropriate legislative mechanisms.

Natural capital research across Scotland is dynamic and innovative engaging a variety of stakeholders to actively shape and inform practice.

Bringing together Scotland’s public, private and voluntary sectors to actively shape natural capital research in Scotland and create dynamic and successful innovation programmes to develop new approaches to protect and enhance natural capital.

  • Scotland’s public, private and voluntary sectors and academic communities are using and actively shaping natural capital research in Scotland.
  • Decisions in Scotland’s public, private and voluntary sectors are informed by leading natural capital research and practice from Scotland and around the world.
  • Scotland has a dynamic and successful natural capital innovation programme, engaging a variety of sectors, leading to new approaches to protecting and enhancing natural capital.

Scotland’s industries and communities collaborate to champion action, initiatives and investment to protect, value and enhance natural capital.

Supporting action to increase investment in natural capital from a cross-sector range of stakeholders and the adoption of natural capital related initiatives (e.g. Natural Capital Protocol) by a wide range of Scottish organisations.

  • Action to protect and enhance natural capital is championed by a wide range of stakeholders from Scotland’s public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Collaboration is leading to increasing investment in Scotland’s natural capital.
  • Natural capital related initiatives (e.g. Natural Capital Protocol, Natural Capital Declaration) are widely adopted within Scotland.


Over the next three years we will take the following steps towards achieving our aims.

  Explore topics Explore topics through our four thematic network hubs, finding ways to connect the groups on cross-topic activities, allowing new hubs to develop as discussions evolve, providing a mechanism for co-developing specific and effective solutions.
  Encourage an open culture Encourage an open culture and effective partnerships across sectors by facilitating connections and introductions.
  Enable knowledge sharing Enable knowledge sharing through our online working spaces with regular moderation, curation of content and contact management, producing regular events and communicating outcomes through quarterly newsletters.
  Reduce barriers to change Reduce barriers to change for application and practice by providing access to shared learnings from investment readiness schemes and communities of practice.
  Address lack of clarity Address lack of clarity through supporting the development of metrics, standards, codes and frameworks by curating regular online opportunities to feed in and share insights.
  Support government agencies Support government agencies to take forward agendas. Provide access to our networks to socialise policy consultations and feed-in to action plan development (such as Water Metrics and the Woodland Water Code). Contribute to the delivery plans for the Blue Economy Vision and Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
  Influence policy development
and business practice
Influence policy development and business practice by increasing recognition of the importance of natural capital to human wellbeing and economic prosperity though production of a collated evidence report and promoting key messages in visually engaging outputs.
  Inspire action Inspire action by spotlighting the potential for natural capital regeneration in Scotland through sharing project trajectories and future visions in visually engaging outputs.







Our topic hubs will direct work to achieve key priorities this year.







Connect further, build relationships and foster collaborations across sectors and disciplines, for example by gathering around shared topics of natural capital relevance like blue carbon. At the science-policy-business-society interface, explore and share approaches that balance long-term environmental sustainability with benefits for local economies, wellbeing and commercial interests.

Foster lessons learned from terrestrial natural capital management, to inform policy and practice for coastal and ocean environments. Also, contribute to policy innovation, such as combining natural capital approaches with source-to-sea approaches, linking with the Land Management Connectors Hub and other SFNC hubs.








Provide feedback and advice on research into approaches for measuring biodiversity and explore Scottish commercial organisations’ water stewardship and responsible peatland management plans.

Continue to build a consultation network for research into connecting nature-rich areas in Scotland, allowing wildlife and natural processes to move and adapt to land use and climate change pressures.









 (Digital technologies that measure nature)


Continue to explore challenges around biodiversity measurement to enable decision-grade data, building evidence to inform policy and support consistency across data collection.

Explore how we generate insights and meaning from data using new technology for natural capital, (such as generative AI) to inform decision making.









Continue to be the central space in Scotland for news, signposts, activities and knowledge-sharing relating to nature finance.

Pilot the use of ‘exploration zones’ to connect with the community on more specialist nature finance topics, including international agendas, community benefits and others.





Find out more