More urgently than ever before, in tackling the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency, we need relevant and up-to-date information to guide effective action and assess success. But obtaining a sufficiently complete and up-to-date account of species in Scotland has been hampered by a dwindling pool of amateur expertise, complex data flows, and gaps in data collection and service provision.

As the most comprehensive audit of its kind, the SBIF Review was shortlisted for the Nature of Scotland Innovation Award 2018 and won the CIEEM Best Practice Stakeholder Engagement Award 2019.

The SBIF Vision

The SBIF ambition – for Scotland but also applicable to the UK – is to have an improved infrastructure for recording, managing, sharing and using wildlife data.  The need to get this underway is urgent, whilst recognising that a degree of iteration and further thought will be required to determine the scale and pace of implementation.


In December 2019, SBIF presented a programme proposal to Scottish Government outlining the investment necessary to implement the 24 SBIF Review Recommendations.  It makes the case for sufficient sustainable public funding to transform our recording infrastructure and catalyse long-term funding from other sectors.  It sets out six projects that will undertake the necessary transformation by 2025.

Listen to the SBIF team talking to Mark Stephen on BBC Radio Scotland Out of Doors, broadcast on 28th September 2019.  Our thanks to BBC Radio Scotland for the reuse of this media.



The business case has been welcomed by BRISC:

“Biological Recording in Scotland (BRISC) strongly supports the publication of A Review of the Biological Recording Infrastructure in Scotland by the Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF). This important review summarises a huge amount of work that shows how biological recording in Scotland can be organised and managed in the future which will ensure that Scotland is a world leader in monitoring and documenting its biodiversity. BRISC is excited by the suggested outcomes of the review and urges government to adopt and implement the recommendations.”

Chris McInerny, BRISC Chair, November 2018


Review process

The perspectives of 48 influential stakeholders, 290 responses to a public questionnaire and the findings of four cross-sectoral workshops on data flow, services, governance and funding have given an unprecedented level of insight into problems that have persisted for over 40 years and that are today limiting Scotland’s contribution to almost all the Aichi Targets.

Outputs from the review are summarised in the following documents and diagrams


Keep informed

  • Follow the discussion on Twitter: follow @SB_Info_Forum and use #SBIFReview
  • Read more views from the community via the SBIF Blog
  • Discover more about the Review process 
  • Existing sources gathered during the course of the Review are available in the SBIF Review Archives

For other general information about the SBIF Review, please contact Rachel Tierney, SBIF Development Officer (