Danny Heptinstall - International Team
When did you start at JNCC? - I started in June 2018.
What is your role in JNCC? - My job title is Senior International Biodiversity Adviser, but that tells you very little about what I do! I provide expert advice to the four Governments of the UK (although primarily the UK Government) on the development and implementation of international nature conservation treaties. This includes everything from attending UN conferences to negotiate what the treaties should include, to advising Governments on what policies they can implement to achieve the aims of the treaties.
Have you had any other roles at JNCC? - No, I came to JNCC from an international NGO. First and foremost I’m a birder and naturalist, but I have training in ecological science and professional experience outside JNCC in academia, the science-policy interface and environmental lobbying.
What do you like the most about working at JNCC? - This is by far the friendliest workplace I’ve ever worked in, and I genuinely look forward to coming into the office and interacting with my colleagues. Another plus for me is that JNCC is big enough that it has all the in-house support staff you need to get your job done (e.g. admin, finance, HR, IT), but is small enough that you can know everyone by name – which makes finding a solution to any problems you may have super easy! I also value the incredible opportunities to see the inner workings of UK Governments and international bodies that this role provides. The international travel is a plus too, I’ve stayed in Italian Palaces, African Safari Lodges and Middle Eastern beach resorts all while doing the day job – it’s a hard life!
What’s been your greatest achievement at JNCC? - I’ve only been here a year so it’s hard to say I’ve made any great achievements! It always feels good to get thanked by Civil Servants after your advice has helped them during a difficult time. I also had a role in no deal EU Exit preperations, and I was very proud that my team came together and managed to be ready for that scenario despite the challenging circumstances we found ourselves in.