The SBIF Review – the next stage

The four workshops that were held in the last quarter of 2017 marked the completion of the evidence-gathering stage of the Review, and the SBIF Working Group have now moved on to the next stage, the drafting of two papers: our detailed business case for change and our recommended options for change. At the same time we are also completing outputs on the questionnaire and interview findings.

The content of the business case and recommendations will reflect the evidence we gathered. Options for change will include details of those options we have discussed and rejected, and those that we recommend. Both papers need careful crafting in order to present the information in a manner that is concise, accessible, and grounded in the wider context of Scottish strategy for biodiversity, but also detailed enough for the audience of decision-makers to understand what is proposed and to believe that the recommendations are achievable. One key message that we heard consistently through the Review is that the status quo is not an option as it is neither sustainable nor delivering biodiversity data across the whole of Scotland, and this message will also be clearly articulated in both papers.

The SBIF Working Group believe it is important to devote adequate time to writing the papers. These papers will be the key documents that will inform decision-makers and funders of our vision for a future infrastructure, and as such their importance cannot be over-stated. We are hoping to unlock suitable investment that will enable us to transition towards a new and changed infrastructure, and the case need to be robust.

Having said we need to spend adequate time on the papers, we are mindful that we should move as fast as possible to complete this stage. Our current schedule is for draft papers to be available for discussion at the next SBIF Advisory Group meeting on the 15th March, and for approved final versions to be ready by the end of April or early May. Once the papers have been approved by the SBIF Advisory Group, they will be submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration, and the Review itself will be closed down. The post-Review future for SBIF will subsequently be guided by the response we receive to the business case and our recommendations, both of which we are hoping will be viewed favourably.

All completed documents and papers associated with the Review, including our monthly Highlight Reports, and the workshop outputs, are available on the Scotland pages of this website. The interview findings, questionnaire findings, and business case and recommendations will be published once complete. If however you have a website or publish blogs or newsletters to your members, do let us know if you would like a piece written about the Review, or about a particular aspect of the findings. We are keen to stay in touch with as many people involved in our biodiversity infrastructure, and would be happy to contribute to your communications.

Further details are available from Christine Johnston, NBN Scottish Liaison Officer – tel. 07342254589; email

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