Development of the Terrestrial Surveillance Strategy

The UK Terrestrial Biodiversity Surveillance Strategy, 2009

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.

The UK Terrestrial Biodiversity Surveillance Strategy Framework, 2009

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.


Key Principles of the Surveillance Strategy

Outlines how the surveillance strategy sets out broad principles which can help to find solutions for individual requirements.


Surveillance strategy review and revision, 2010

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.


Refreshing JNCC’s surveillance and monitoring evidence role, 2013

The most recent update to JNCC’s role in surveillance strategy, including a consideration of current UK requirements and challenges.


Developing the Rationale for Assessing Sampling Coverage in the UK Surveillance Strategy

A consideration of how non-UK countries undertake surveillance, and how surveillance requirements can be assessed.


Assessment of the surveillance rationale and objectives

Suggestions for further developing strategy communication, needs analysis, habitat surveillance and decision tools, such as the surveillance hierarchy.


Prioritisation of surveillance for rare and scarce species using a ‘risk-based’ approach, 2009

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 manner.
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.


UK Habitats Directive Surveillance Approach

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.


 A model of levels of sampling to drive the evolution of sampling schemes

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.