Legal basis of our work
The legal basis for the JNCC is the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006. It sets out the composition of the Joint Committee, the purpose of JNCC and the functions of national and international significance that it is responsible for.
Our specific responsibilities for offshore marine nature conservation are set out in the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007, the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and various Regulations that relate to the activities of the offshore petroleum industry.
We have also been appointed by the UK Government as the scientific authority on fauna under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the corresponding EC Regulation.
As well as the legal instruments that define JNCC’s role, our work is also shaped by a range of international, European and national conventions, directives, legal acts and policies. Collectively they provide the framework for UK nature conservation.
Our statutory duties
Our core statutory responsibilities are set out in Sections 33 to 36 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. We deliver the UK and international responsibilities of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Natural England and NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage*). The functions that arise from these responsibilities are principally to:
- Advise Government on the development and implementation of policies for, or affecting, nature conservation in the UK and internationally;
- Provide advice and disseminate knowledge on nature conservation issues affecting the UK and internationally;
- Create common standards throughout the UK for nature conservation, including monitoring, research, and the analysis of results;
- Commission or support research that is deemed relevant to these functions.
We have statutory responsibilities under several other pieces of legislation and European Regulations.
*Scottish Natural Heritage changed its name to NatureScot on 24 August 2020