Later this year, the first National Islands Plan as well as the guidelines for the new Island Communities Impact Assessments (ICIA) will come into place – we mustn’t miss our chance to shape what they will include.
We have all been watching the progress of the Islands (Scotland) Act for some time, wondering what ‘island proofing’ will mean in practice and how things will be different. Over the next few months, we as islanders and island groups, will have the opportunity to influence and shape it.
Our Minister for the islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP and the new Scottish Government Islands Team, Erica Clarkson and Don Morrison are hugely committed to ensuring that island communities themselves have a direct role in shaping the National Islands Plan and that delivery of the Act offers a real catalyst to transform the things that matter to island communities.
Scottish Islands Federation is absolutely delighted to be part of the team, along with partners at Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, to be appointed to help deliver the consultation across the islands.
How to take part
We need to reach as many islands, island groups and islanders as possible to get the most from this unique opportunity and beginning in the next few weeks, the Islands Team has committed to delivering a programme of consultation events that will see them visit around 40 individual islands to gather aspirations, ideas, concerns and barriers directly from island communities. The timetable for events will soon be circulated.
You can also take part in the online consultation here.
Some background reading to get you thinking
Policy Brief – N Crook and F Sindico, Islands (Scotland) Bill 2018: A Brief Overview
Policy Brief – F Sindico and N Crook, Searching for the Voice of the Island Communities in the Islands (Scotland) Bill