Independent members of the Joint
Committee contribute to the Committee’s work in providing UK Government and the
Devolved Administrations, with effective support for their evidence needs and
policies for nature conservation across the UK and internationally. Independent
members need to understand the natural environment and its vital importance to
everyone including its contribution to improving outcomes for the economy and
for society on a sustainable basis. This will include an understanding on the
latest thinking and implementation around natural capital, ecosystem services
and natural resource management.
Independent members need to promote a
positive and constructive relationship with a wide range of stakeholders
including Defra, Devolved Administrations, the UK Country Nature Conservation
Bodies, and other public bodies operating in the environmental field, including
other Government Departments and international institutions. The JNCC has a key
role in working with the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and
with a wide range of non-government organisations and other interest groups
both within the UK and internationally.
The JNCC was established in the Natural
Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006) as a non-departmental public body.
Independent members are expected to take a full and active role in the
governance of JNCC, appropriate to a non-executive board. This involves
providing support to the Chair of the JNCC in holding the executive to account
for achieving work programmes agreed in annual business plans and delivering
good value for money.
Independent members will also assist the Chair in
overseeing the executive’s delivery of the 2016 JNCC Review in effecting operational changes to the
way JNCC delivers advice and evidence to customers. A part of this work will
involve independent members being able to identify new opportunities for JNCC
to diversify its income while continuing to deliver on its core evidence and
advisory functions for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.
Independent members provide a valuable
source of expertise to ensure that the scientific methods and approaches
underpinning JNCC’s advice and evidence are robust and appropriate for the
needs of customers. Members also take a longer-term strategic view to position
the organisation to make optimal use of modern technological, computational,
and scientific advances including the social sciences. Given the breadth of JNCC’s
work in the terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments, these include but
are not restricted to advances in data and IT, modelling and statistics, earth
observation and remote sensing. An
understanding on the latest thinking and implementation around natural capital,
ecosystem services and natural resource management is important.
The JNCC is accountable to the four
government administrations in the UK. It is important for independent members,
together with country conservation body representatives, to develop an
understanding of legislative and policy approaches used across the UK.