Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017
Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017

Annual Report and Accounts for year ending 31 March 2017


Chair’s and Chief Executive’s Foreword


As a scientific authority on UK and international nature conservation, JNCC provides evidence and advice in relation to biodiversity and ecosystems. Our work supports the UK Government and the devolved administrations in meeting their ambitions for a healthy natural environment that provides the foundation for sustainable economic growth, prospering communities and personal wellbeing.

2016/17 was an extremely busy year for JNCC. The breadth of our work over the last 12 months is illustrated by the following highlights:

  • Through long-standing partnerships with non-governmental organisations, we provided updated status and trend information for a wide range of terrestrial birds, butterflies, mammals and plants in the UK.
  • We produced a marine biodiversity monitoring strategy for UK waters with options for deep-sea habitats, seabirds and cetaceans.
  • We developed a platform providing analysis-ready satellite data to support multiple environmental applications across the UK. Working with partners we demonstrated the potential for satellite data to transform approaches to monitoring water quality and assessing rural payments.
  • We provided scientific expertise to the UK delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, leading to successful outcomes on ivory, African lions and other wildlife trade issues.
  • We published a comprehensive review of terrestrial Special Protection Areas in the UK, confirming the international importance of the site network for bird conservation.
  • We initiated a project (funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to advise governments in the UK’s Overseas Territories on incorporating natural capital in their decision-making.
  • We supported governments in establishing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas by advising on a third tranche of Marine Conservation Zones in English offshore waters and submitting revised proposals for Special Areas of Conservation for harbour porpoise in UK offshore waters following public consultation.
  • To supplement our core grant-in-aid we increased income by over 20% compared with 2015/16. 

Successful delivery of such a wide-ranging programme of work is a testament to the efforts of JNCC’s staff, who worked unstintingly during the year. Their skills in operating at the interface between science and policy and across local to international scales make JNCC unique. We are also grateful for the essential contributions made by our many partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

A fundamental review of JNCC was undertaken by our four sponsor administrations during 2016. The final report was published in November 2016. The conclusions contain several recommendations for improvements to the way JNCC operates, which are being implemented. Overall, the report concludes that “JNCC staff skills are highly valued by policy customers in Defra and the devolved administrations, JNCC partners and other stakeholders. Sponsors agree on the efficiency of retaining a shared resource of skilled specialists in JNCC to provide independent evidence and advice on the shared nature conservation priorities of governments in the UK.” 

The conclusion of the government review stands JNCC in good stead as we look to the future. Moving into 2017/18, our work will be guided by our new strategy, which sets out five high-level outcomes:

  • High-quality evidence on biodiversity and ecosystems to inform decisions affecting the environment
  • Beneficial environmental outcomes for the UK through international leadership
  • Cost-effective delivery of devolved environmental priorities through shared solutions and joint working
  • Sustainable economic growth through a healthy environment in the UK’s offshore marine waters
  • Excellent, customer-focused delivery

2017/18 will be another challenging year, not least because of preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union. However, JNCC’s flexible, collaborative and solution-driven culture and our highly cost-effective working arrangements will enable us to continue providing a valuable service to the four UK administrations and other customers. 

Professor CA Gilligan (Chair)      Mr MJM Yeo (Chief Executive)
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ISBN 978-1-4741-4427-8
Please cite as: , (2017), Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017, ISBN 978-1-4741-4427-8