Advice on UK and international research priorities


This section includes research activities which the JNCC has direct involvement in at the UK, European and International levels. There are many other biodiversity research initiatives at all these scales, however these not included in this section as the JNCC is not necessarily directly involved in them.


UK Research



The UK Biodiversity Research Advisory Group (UK BRAG) was a science-policy consultative group Chaired by Defra, and existed from 2003-2013. JNCC was a member and provided the Secretariat. Its remit was to identify research topics to support implementation of Biodiversity Action Plans and it was the national biodiversity research platform for the UK in Europe. The group published seven thematic research needs reviews; climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, genetic conservation, non-native species, socio-economics of biodiversity, habitat and ecosystem management and monitoring of biodiversity. It also brought the science and policy communities together in a number of thematic workshop, including on ecosystem services, the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, marine policy, sustainable intensification, and on international policy and biodiversity research.


The work of UK BRAG can be found in the archives


UK OTs and CDs

The UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Training and Research Programme is supported by JNCC. It aims to identify research priorities in the UK OTs and CDs, foster collaborations with UK research institutions and help build capacity for conservation science in the UK OTs and CDs.  It is guided by a Steering Group made up of UK OT and CD government officials, JNCC and the University of Reading.


Marine Science Research Strategy


The Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC),  is a partnership of the main Government Departments, the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Environment Agencies (including JNCC) and research bodies involved in funding and carrying out marine science in the UK. The MSCC’s aim is to make UK marine science more effective and efficient. It does so by co-ordinating research and delivering the UK Marine Science Strategy . The MSCC’s activities are progressed through a series of groups, including the UK Marine Monitoring and assessment Strategy (UKMMAS]). UKMMAS works to coordinate provision of the monitoring information needed for policy, operational and management decisions to deliver the UK marine vision of clean, safe, healthy, biologically diverse and productive seas and oceans. Their work is overseen by the Marine Assessment and Reporting Group (MARG) and is delivered through four evidence groups which bring together managers and experts from the different marine monitoring organisations in the UK.


European Research



The European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) is a forum that brings together natural and social scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders to identify strategically-important biodiversity research areas. Its priorities are:

  • Using biodiversity components in a sustainable way
  • Maintaining ecosystem functions that provide goods and services
  • Conserving, protecting and restoring the natural world
  • Halting biodiversity loss.

JNCC supports the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at EPBRS.



BiodivERsA is a European Research Area Network (ERA-net) project within the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research. It is made up of a consortium of 21 major research funding agencies from 15 countries. Its aim is to promote a strategy for biodiversity research in partnership with other players in the field and organise joint funding to better integrate biodiversity science. JNCC supported Defra in its contribution to BiodivERsA (2005-2009) and is a partner in the second phase of the ERA-net (2010 to 2014).


International Research



The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is a developing international mechanism that aims to strengthen the links between policy-makers and the research community. It will provide a scientifically sound, uniform and consistent framework for tackling changes to biodiversity and ecosystem services. JNCC has provided advice in support of UK Government negotiations on IPBES.