We are the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (more commonly known as JNCC), the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Originally established under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we were reconstituted by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006. We are the forum through which the country nature conservation bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland discharge their statutory responsibilities across the UK and internationally. 

We are led by the Joint Committee, which brings together, under an independent Chair, members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The day-to-day work of the Committee is undertaken by our support company which is limited by guarantee – the JNCC Support Co. 

JNCC has been at the heart of nature conservation across the UK for over 30 years. As an executive Non-Departmental Public Body of Defra, co-funded by the Devolved Administrations, JNCC is the only statutory adviser at the UK level on how environmental security contributes to economic security and societal wellbeing. 

We provide a shared scientific nature conservation service for the UK. We’re the mechanism for the UK Government and devolved administrations to pool their resources to obtain evidence and advice on nature conservation and natural capital. By operating at a UK level, we are able to achieve value for money through economies of scale and avoiding duplication of effort. 

Across non-government sectors there is increasing awareness of the benefits provided by the natural environment and the importance of preserving these to ensure more sustainable use. We are increasingly looking for opportunities to apply our expertise and advice to support this approach with these sectors, both within the UK and internationally. 

Professor Colin Galbraith Chair

Dr Gemma Harper Chief Executive

Why the Joint Nature Conservation Committee is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

JNCC is keen to assist in giving individuals first-hand experience through observation of the workings and dynamics of the Joint Committee. This in turn will grow and widen the pool of board- ready individuals within the Defra group and hopefully widen the field of those applying for Joint Committee membership. 

Actively advocating equality and diversity is what we do. Opportunities at the top, should be available to all and not be influenced by a person’s age, disability, race, religion, or sexual preferences. The Board Apprenticeship concept only works if progressive boards are willing to reserve a seat at the table for the education of tomorrow’s board members. The Joint Committee is a progressive board, made up of a mix of scientists and professionals who lead the JNCC in an effective and engaging manner. 

Creating diverse and inclusive boards is a highly complex challenge with no single solution. In JNCC, we feel that such a complicated challenge requires a collective approach and now is the time for us to join with other organisations to make a change. We believe that the right combination of perspectives, skills, experience and diversity on boards will lead to stronger Boards with fresher perspectives to tackle key issues in the future. 

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

Board meetings are a mix of virtual and in-person. All in-person meetings are hybrid. As JNCC is a UK body, our in-person meetings are held around the UK and in JNCC’s two offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Joint Committee meets four times a year in March, June, September and Nov/December. We have one Company Board meeting a year in June to sign off the Annual Report & Accounts, this is annexed to the June Joint Committee meeting. Meetings are over two days, with session one on day one in the morning followed by an engagement event in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. Session two takes place on the morning of the following day.

Date of Board Meetings (January 2023 – December 2023)

8-9 March (virtual)

7-8 June (Northern Ireland – exact location to be agreed)

13-14 September – JNCC’s office in Aberdeen

22-23 November – virtual

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2023 – December 2023)

We have sub-groups of the Joint Committee in our three key areas of UK Co-ordination, Marine and International. We also have two other sub-committees, an Audit & Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) and a Remuneration & People Committee. These sub-groups and sub-committees meet prior to each Joint Committee meeting but we do not currently have a list of scheduled meetings for 2023, apart from ARAC.

ARAC meeting dates for 2023 are:-

Monday 6th March

Monday 5th June

Monday 11th September

Monday 20 November

All meetings of sub-groups and sub-committees are virtual with one meeting of ARAC per year in-person. The in-person ARAC meetings for 2023 has not yet been agreed but will be juxtaposed to a Joint Committee meeting.