To find out what the Geospatial Commission thinks about SBIF (spoiler alert, “Trailblazing in Scotland”!) have a read of their blog about their recently published report. SBIF is mentioned in the sixth heading (just before the picture of the Robin).
The UK Government’s Geospatial Commission published an independent report from eftec (Economics for the Environment) who specialise in environmental economics. The idea for the report came from a request from across UK government departments to look into data issues surrounding species data (as a component of biodiversity data), as a key factor determining the allocation of land and land-use decisions where some wider data improvement work is being conducted. Although the eftec report is focused on England, it draws heavily on similar excellent work done in Scotland with the 2018 Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF) review and covers the processes in the species data pathway and explores the uses of biodiversity data.
“The report makes 14 recommendations to improve the species data landscape and many of these are focussed on the FAIR data principles that the UK Geospatial Strategy is supporting. This report argues that the costs of collecting species data are strongly outweighed by the benefits from use, estimating that for every pound spent, benefits of £14 to £28 are realised. The report notes that key benefits of improving this data could include achieving water industry and agri-environment objectives and avoiding delays in the land use planning system. The species data pathway has direct benefits that arise to those that collect and use the data (e.g., physical health and well-being), as well as indirect benefits through time savings by those that interact with data collectors and users.”
SBIF is looking on with interest as to what the proposals to deliver the recommendations in England will look like and how the key benefits identified by the report will be delivered. The SBIF Working Group looks forward to learning from the innovative solutions that will come from this work.