What we do
The purpose of nature conservation is to maintain and enrich
biodiversity and conserve geological features. It also sustains the
natural systems that provide the core services we all depend on
like food, fresh water and clean air.
These services contribute to economic growth and social
well-being and are central to sustainable development. With our
fate so closely linked to nature, we, as individuals,
organisations, and governments need to be sure that our decisions
do not undermine the health of the natural systems that are
critical for the well-being of present and future generations.
Wise decisions are informed decisions. Good policy-making,
planning, development and risk management all depend on reliable
and up-to-date information on biodiversity status and trends as
well as full cost and benefit implications.
Our role is to provide evidence, information and advice so that
decisions are made that protect natural resources and systems. Our
specific role is to work on nature conservation issues that affect
the UK as a whole and internationally:
- As UK Government’s nature conservation advisor in European and
global fora we take forward issues from the four countries in the
UK to inform policy development. We then provide support to ensure
that European and international requirements are understood and
implemented through national policies and actions within a devolved
- We provide objective advice on the priorities for creating a
cost-effective evidence-base for use across the UK and the
investment required to make it happen. We devise strategies for
collecting and using data and provide tools and mechanisms to
enable others to make their data freely available.
- We play a key role in the UK’s offshore marine nature
conservation . That includes identifying, monitoring and advising
on how protected areas are run and providing advice on the impacts
of offshore industries.
- We also support nature conservation in the UK’s 14 Overseas
Territories and three Crown Dependencies, all of which are
important for global biodiversity and geodiversity.