Advisory and Stakeholder Groups

A number of groups and forums have been established to encourage a wide involvement and participation of interested parties in the implementation of the WFD in Scotland. These can be divided into two main types:

  • River Basin Planning and Advisory Groups and Forums
    National Advisory Group (NAG)
    This Group is responsible for co-ordinating the work of the Area Advisory Groups and overseeing and contributing to the production of the final River Basin Management Plans.

    The NAG is made up of representatives from responsible authorities, national stakeholders and organisations working at a strategic level. The membership of the Group can be found at:
  • For the 2nd River Basin Management Plans SEPA has consulted on the Role of NAG in delivery of RBMP2 objectives. (Consultation closed 31 March 2017). A revised role and remit of NAG (outlined in the online consultation) requires an expanded membership to effectively communicate and deliver RBMP across Scotland.


    Area Advisory Groups
    The Scotland River Basin District is divided into eight areas, each with its own Area Advisory Group:

    • North East Scotland
    • Tay
    • Forth
    • Clyde
    • Argyll
    • West Area Highland
    • North Area Highland
    • Orkney & Shetland.

    To allow Area Advisory Groups to provide an effective link to local stakeholders and expertise they need to be made up of representatives appropriate to the area. Membership will be driven largely by the issues and activities that are locally important, the organisations present in the area and the relative significance of the different water types in the area.

    Developing the plans for the second cycle has provided an opportunity to review the function of these groups with the focus of engagement shifting towards delivery.

    Detailed maps of the Area Advisory Group network are available at: Advisory Group boundaries map

    Area Advisory Group Forums
    For river basin management planning to reach beyond the National Advisory Group and Area Advisory Groups and their members, each Area Advisory Group will form an Advisory Group Forum with provision for a wide and open membership. This will allow a wide body of interests to provide input to, and be regularly informed of, progress in river basin planning without needing to be involved in the detail of the plan production process.

    In addition, information will be made available to the public in different forms and formats. Together with the National Advisory Group and Area Advisory Groups, these arrangements will provide the components of a participative and inclusive process. This will allow active involvement, provide consultative opportunities and make information available on an ongoing basis.

    WFD Stakeholder Groups

    Scottish Government’s national stakeholder forum
    Scottish ministers access information on any aspect of the Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR), via Scottish Government’s national stakeholder forum.


    Diffuse Pollution Management Advisory Group

    The Diffuse Pollution Management Advisory Group (DPMAG) is a partnership that focuses on protecting and improving Scotland's water environment by reducing rural diffuse pollution.


    The Rural Diffuse Pollution Plan was published in 2012 with an updated version in 2017.



    Fish and Fisheries Advisory Group
    The Fish and Fisheries Advisory Group supports the RBMP process and contributes to the development and delivery of relevant elements of river basin plans. The Fish and Fisheries Advisory Group (FFAG)’s role has particular reference when it comes to: helping to inform the process of setting priorities for action in future river basin planning cycles; understanding the status of fish stocks in Scotland; reviewing and improving our fish classification results; identifying areas where further research and development is required; ensuring that the views of a wide range of relevant interest groups are taken into account in the RBMP process; providing feedback from the work of the group within its sector.


    Scottish Freshwater Monitoring Strategy Group

    Scottish Freshwater Monitoring Strategy Group was set-up with representatives from the Scottish Executive, stakeholders and relevant NGOs. This group was consulted on the freshwater monitoring strategy and some site details and provided useful comments.
    This Group aimed to engage SEPA and other partners in the development and delivery of freshwater environmental monitoring and data collection systems.


    WFD Aquatic Monitoring Strategy
    To implement the WFD, SEPA developed a Scottish monitoring strategy with partners such as Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water, British Waterways, Environment Link and Fisheries Research Services. The monitoring strategies for the Scotland river basin district and the Solway Tweed river basin district are available on the SEPA website.


    CAMERAS (Coordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science)

    Under a CAMERAS initiative SEPA are developing Monitoring Action Plans with partner organisations. This continues the work of co-ordinating monitoring effort across Scotland.

    The Scottish environmental monitoring strategy (December 2011)
    This is produced by CAMERAS and is available on the Scottish Government website.


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