Scientific evidence underpins good decision-making. It can also lead innovation in minimising the impact of the demands of society on biodiversity. Evidence includes:
  • Direct measurements of biodiversity and other environmental variables through surveillance and monitoring programmes.
  • Experimental and analytical research.
  • Reporting management and policy actions.
  • Assessments of sources to build an overview of pressures on biodiversity and the environment.
  • Evidence summaries that apply available monitoring research and reporting sources to particular issues.


Our role within the UK is as a supplier of evidence, mainly through marine and terrestrial surveillance and monitoring programmes. We also acts as a co-ordinator helping country and UK bodies to fit their evidence investments into a bigger picture and as an interpreter of evidence to support advice.  Internationally, JNCC’s role is as an advisor to Government on the mechanisms needed to provide evidence to support decision-making at the regional and international level.


  • Phytophthora – Three invasive non-native species of the plant-damaging water mould, Phytophthora, have recently been discovered in the UK, with the potential to devastate heathland sites. To date most wild infections have been on bilberry and rhododendron.  JNCC has undertaken modelling of the distribution of these species to help predict the spread of Phytophthora and its possible impact.
  • Seabirds – Changes in the population size of seabirds can be related to human activities and pressures, for example, fishing, the impacts of invasive species, and climate change.  The number of breeding seabirds in the UK increased from around 4.5 million in the late 1960s to 7 million by the end of the 1990s, but the number has probably decreased since the last census was conducted in 1998-2002.
  • UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) – UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) - a coordinated and integrated approach to marine monitoring and assessment that aims to collect data suitable for reporting against a range of marine obligations.  JNCC is an active partner in delivering this strategy through its membership on the Evidence Groups delivering the work programme.  Key deliverables of UKMMAS have included the state of our seas report, Charting Progress 2, and more recently the provision of advice on the characterisation of Good Environmental Status, targets and indicators, and a monitoring programme under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Further details>>> 
  • Charting Progress 2 a state of our seas report was published in July 2010 and describes progress made since the publication of Charting Progress in 2005. Charting Progress 2 is the largest and most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of animals and plants in UK waters and the pressures that affect them. The report highlights key findings from UK marine research and monitoring, for use by policy makers and others and evaluates the progress made towards achieving the UK’s vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. JNCC and its partners provided evidence and expertise to describe the status and trends of the biodiversity elements of the report.Further details>>>
  • Indicators status and trends, BIYP, - Indicators are a way to communicate the results of evidence to a broad audience. A suite of biodiversity indicators has been developed for the UK to measure progress toward European and Global biodiversity targets.