Science Advisory Group for Scottish Biodiversity Strategy: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

Information relating to the Science Advisory Group for Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. Specifically, you have asked the following questions:

  1. What was the date of formation of the Science Advisory Group for Scottish Biodiversity Strategy
  2. Who is a member of this group?
  3. What is the cost to the Scottish Government of operating this group from the date of formation to 4/10/23?
  4. Are any members of this group remunerated, if so what for?


As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Response to your request

The answer to your questions are as follows:

1. The Science Advisory Group for Scottish Biodiversity Strategy was formed in December 2019. The group first met virtually on 25 May 2021.

2. Members of the Science Advisory Group for Scottish Biodiversity Strategy are outlined in the table below.

3. The total cost of operating this group to date is £217.90, this expenditure was for catering an inperson meeting which took place on 25 August 2023 at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. Please note, members are entitled to claim for Travel & Subsistence, though no claims have been made to date.

4. No members of this group are remunerated, participation in this group is voluntary.

List of Members



Professor Mathew Williams (chair)

Scottish Government, Chief Scientific Adviser Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture

Professor Des Thompson FRSE

NatureScot, Principal Adviser on Science and Biodiversity

Dr Helen McKay OBE FICF

Scotland’s Chief Forester

Professor Jerry Wilson FRSE

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Dr Janet Fisher

University of Edinburgh

Professor Rob Brooker

James Hutton Institute

Professor Beth Scott

University of Aberdeen

Professor Kirsty Park

University of Stirling

Professor Pete Hollingsworth FRSE

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)

Fiona Simpson

Scottish Government

Ben James


Professor Davy McCracken

Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC)

Professor Chris Spray MBE FCIEEM

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and University of Dundee

Dr Pete Chaniotis

JNCC Marine Ecosystems Team Leader

Dr Philip Boulcott

Marine Scotland

Simon Fuller

Scottish Government – Deputy Director, Rural Environment and Analytical Service (RESAS)

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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