Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) Butterfly, resting on Marram grass, Kilmory, Isle of Rum NNR ©Laurie Campbell/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Biodiversity Duty

A biodiversity duty rests on all public bodies in Scotland. Discover how your organisation can comply to conserve biodiversity.

What is the biodiversity duty?

Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, public bodies in Scotland have a duty to further the conservation of biodiversity. This biodiversity duty is about taking care of nature all around us, not just in specific protected sites.

By securing the public sector’s commitment to the environment, we can inspire people across the country to take active care of nature while carrying out their everyday activities.

Read Biodiversity Duty Explained for everything you need to know.

Doing your biodiversity duty

Your organisation can benefit by taking action to:

  • comply with the legislation and help Scotland meet its biodiversity targets
  • improve your image and show that you are working in a socially responsible and ethical way, safeguarding biodiversity and environmental assets for future generations
  • contribute to sustainable development and the quality of life in Scotland.

Browse the planning for action pages for help in planning how to take action for biodiversity in your organisation.

The biodiversity duty guidance and advice pages will help you to find practical information on what you can do and how.

And, since 2012, under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act all public bodies are required to report on their compliance with the biodiversity duty.  Find out more about reporting in the biodiversity duty reporting pages.