Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands - A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland

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Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands
A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland

Header Photo Courtesy of SNH

In this section we describe how progress towards achieving strategy objectives will be monitored and reported, the use of indicators, and how reporting procedures will be used to adjust the direction and emphasis of the implementation plans to ensure delivery of the five strategy objectives over the 25 years ahead.

6.1 The Implementation Plans

The Scottish Biodiversity Forum working groups, and any appointed sub-groups, will report every three years on the implementation status of each implementation plan. They will report on:

1. Progress in implementing specific actions, in terms of milestones achieved.

2. Tangible benefits arising from actions in terms of progress towards strategy objectives, described qualitatively, and quantitatively where appropriate measurable indicators have been identified.

3. Constraints to implementation of actions, and constraints on the contribution of actions to the strategy objectives.

4. Rationale for the follow-on implementation plan.

The working groups will take account of advice and comments from the Scottish Biodiversity Forum and the steering group in finalising their report.

6.2 The Biodiversity Strategy

The strategy implementation group, advised by the Scottish Biodiversity Forum, will prepare a report for Scottish Ministers on the implementation of the biodiversity strategy every three years. This report will draw on and summarise the implementation plan reports, and will also report progress in achieving strategy objectives at a national level, both qualitatively, and quantitatively where appropriate indicators have been identified. This report will be used as the basis for a report by Ministers to the Scottish Parliament.

Upland wet flush in the Grampian MountainsCourtesy of SNH

Upland wet flush in the Grampian Mountains
Courtesy of SNH

6.3 Indicators

The Scottish Biodiversity Forum working group on indicators has identified a set of practical indicators of the state of Scotland's biodiversity, for which information is already available, and being updated on a regular basis. These indicators will allow measurement and reporting of progress in achieving the biological objectives of the strategy and measure parameters such as species populations, priority habitat and species status and species diversity. These indicators are discussed in detail in the report on indicators which accompanies this strategy.

These indicators will be further developed and refined by the Scottish Biodiversity Forum, working with those responsible for the collection of underpinning data, and will be reported and reviewed under the three-yearly reporting protocols described above. In addition, the Forum will identify a sub-set of headline biodiversity indicators for potential inclusion in Scotland's set of indicators of sustainable development.

The Forum will also work to establish a set of indicators to measure and report on our progress in achieving the social dimensions of the aim and objectives. When added to the biological indicator set, this will give the strategy a comprehensive and cost effective set of indicators to inform reporting strategy progress and achievement. The full set of indicators will then be used to inform subsequent reporting rounds.

6.4 Steering

The implementation steering group and implementation team, advised by the Scottish Biodiversity Forum, will consider all the reports outlined above, and the findings of research and analysis and will make recommendations as appropriate to Ministers, the Scottish Executive, and any other relevant body or organisation as to actions necessary to further the objectives of the strategy, take advantage of opportunities and overcome constraints. The Scottish Biodiversity Forum will also offer guidance to working groups on the development and review of the three year implementation plans.