Development of the Terrestrial Surveillance Strategy
The UK Terrestrial Biodiversity Surveillance Strategy has been
developed by JNCC to help the funders of surveillance to ensure
that there is sufficient surveillance in place to meet three
objectives, and to help all who plan surveillance activities or
use results from surveillance schemes. The Surveillance
Strategy has been developed since 2009 and consists of a series of
tools and analyses.
An important part of the Strategy is an analysis of surveillance
requirements; current coverage, gaps and overlaps; and
recommendations for the future development of surveillance.
The Surveillance Framework contains a full analysis of surveillance
in relation to each of the three surveillance objectives.
This document is no longer being developed, but is used to provide
the summary information on the objectives in the Surveillance
Strategy (February 2009 version). For the most recent update on the
strategy, see “Refreshing JNCC’s surveillance and
monitoring evidence role” (below), from November 2013.
Outlines how the surveillance strategy sets out broad principles
which can help to find solutions for individual requirements.
JNCC reviewed the surveillance strategy in December 2010 in a
JNCC Committee paper. This paper considers the application of the
strategy up to 2010, factors affecting the strategy, how it could
be adapted to meet new requirements concerning ecosystem services
and valuation, and the future of the strategy.
The most recent update to JNCC’s role in surveillance strategy,
including a consideration of current UK requirements and
A consideration of how non-UK countries undertake surveillance,
and how surveillance requirements can be assessed.
Suggestions for further developing strategy communication, needs
analysis, habitat surveillance and decision tools, such as the
There are many species that are not well covered by the large
scale surveillance schemes designed to fulfil the requirements of
Objective One in the Surveillance
Strategy. Additional surveillance may have to be commissioned in
order to fulfil reporting obligations (relevant for Objective Three), or more generally
to measure their status. With limited numbers of recorders and
limited financial resources it is necessary to design this
additional surveillance as efficiently as possible, so that species
most likely to be declining are surveyed most frequently. This
paper was designed as a tool to help those commissioning and
designing surveillance prioritise additional surveillance of
species using a risk-based approach. In this way surveillance can
be implemented where it is most needed in a cost effective
This paper was used to help assess species surveillance needs for
UK BAP Priority species and for species included in the Annexes of
the Habitats Directive.
JNCC and the country conservation agencies
(Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources
Wales, Northern Ireland Environment Agency) have worked
together to agree principles for deciding on the level of
surveillance needed to meet the requirements of the
EC Habitats Directive.
This document outlines the Directive
requirements, roles and responsibilities, links to other
requirements, and summarises how the country agencies have assessed
surveillance needs and put plans in place to meet them. It
includes a list of 10 criteria agreed between JNCC and the country
agencies to help decide on the surveillance needed.
The document also summarises the current and
preferred approach for surveillance of the different species
and habitats on the Directive in the UK.
Once an evidence need has been identified, a key design question
is the scale at which surveillance or research should be deployed.
For example, is a simple, well-evidenced correlation between a
driver and a pressure on a component of biodiversity
required? If so a research project may be sufficient.
Are there uncertainties or complexities over the relative impacts
of one or more drivers, or a need to establish the relative
importance of any relationship over different spatial and temporal
scales? If so a surveillance scheme may be necessary.
This Surveillance Hierarchy is a first version of one of the
decision tools in the surveillance strategy. The hierarchy helps
those who are commissioning or designing a surveillance scheme to
identify the appropriate scale for surveillance.