Annual Report and Accounts for Year Ending 31 March 2014
(2014)
JNCC
JNCC annual report and accounts for the year 2014
 
 

Annual Report and Accounts for year ending 31 March 2014

 

Chair’s and Chief Executive’s foreword

 

The report on JNCC’s Triennial Review was published in June 2013. The Review concluded that “JNCC is very much valued for its record of delivering Government environmental priorities and is generally respected by its partners and customers. The functions JNCC carries out on behalf of Government are currently necessary and it is broadly the right body for delivering those functions.” The report made a number of recommendations to further improve JNCC’s efficient delivery of the UK’s environmental priorities.

 

We were delighted with this outcome, which gives JNCC a strong mandate to continue providing evidence and advice relating to UK and international nature conservation to our funding and sponsoring bodies: the UK Government (chiefly the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, and the Northern Ireland Executive.

 

During 2013/14 we undertook a challenging and varied programme of work. Key achievements included the following:

  • Through long-established partnerships with non-governmental organisations, utilising the efforts of volunteer recorders, we provided updated information on biodiversity status and trends across the UK.
  • We released an improved version of the National Biodiversity Network Gateway, which provides access to over 90,000 species records in the UK.
  • We submitted draft advice to governments on options for monitoring cetaceans in UK waters.
  • We commissioned research to develop biodiversity indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • We held a workshop with participants from across the UK and other countries in north-west Europe to share knowledge on the impacts of nitrogen deposition on Natura 2000 sites and discuss mitigation measures.
  • We submitted UK reports on implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives to the European Commission, and completed the 5th national UK report to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • We provided technical support to Marine Scotland during the public consultation on Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in offshore Scottish waters, and made information on potential sites available on the JNCC website.
  • We provided scientific advice to Defra to support the designation of a first tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (including five offshore sites), and advised on the selection of sites for a second tranche of MCZs.
  • To support completion of a UK series of marine Special Protection Areas by 2015, we finalised advice to the country conservation bodies on large terns, little terns, red-throated divers, shag and Balearic shearwater in inshore waters, and provided initial advice on the identification of offshore sites.
  • We provided advice on oil and gas, aggregates and renewables throughout UK offshore waters.
  • We put in place a new evidence quality assurance policy, to ensure that we can be confident about the quality of the evidence we use to underpin our advice to governments.
  • We made excellent progress in implementing the conclusions of our Triennial Review, including enhancing arrangements for liaison with non-governmental organisations and delegating responsibility for advising on renewables in offshore English waters to Natural England.

 

These achievements reflect the commitment of JNCC staff, who applied their expertise with dedication and enthusiasm. Input from partner organisations has also contributed to our successes. Mutually supportive partnerships with the country nature conservation bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland sit at the heart of JNCC, and those relationships have deepened and developed over the year. We have also benefited greatly from collaboration with a range of UK and devolved government bodies and have increased our interaction with non-governmental organisations.

 

Financial pressures, institutional changes in different parts of the UK, and initiatives for public sector reform will all pose significant challenges for JNCC, but following our Triennial Review we can face the future with confidence. Our business plan for 2014/15 describes our priorities for the coming year.

 

Dr P Bridgewater (Chair)      Mr MJM Yeo (Chief Executive)
 
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ISBN 9781474103060
 
Please cite as: JNCC, (2014), Annual Report and Accounts for Year Ending 31 March 2014, ISBN 9781474103060