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 UK.
  • 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.