The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK and international nature conservation.
The main role of the JNCC is “to provide evidence, information and advice so that decisions are made that protect natural resources and systems”. This covers a variety of different thematic areas, such as ecology and biodiversity, sustainability, geology, marine conservation and many more. The main remit of the JNCC is to advise Government on policy development and suitability, as well as to advise those implementing the policy and to make more individuals and organisations aware of the impacts of various policies. The work undertaken by the JNCC is critical in ‘establishing common standards throughout the UK for nature conservation, including monitoring, research, and the analysis of results’.
The, I freely acknowledge, very simplistic conceptual model that I have in my head is that they sit between Defra in central Government and the implementing organisations such as the Environment Agency or Nature Scot or Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru and facilitate the flow of ideas, feedback and policy implementation.
In 2019 the JNCC initiated their Business Associate (BA) programme and Alastair from Geoger was proud to be one of the first BAs. The programme was formalised futher in 2020 through the creation of a Business Associate Framework (BAF) to which existing BAs and others were able to tender. Again, Alastair has been awarded a position on the BAF.
The BAF allows the JNCC to work with external independent experts such as Geoger. The BAs form an important part of the JNCC ecosystem, as stated on the JNCC website:
The aim of the Framework is to ensure excellence in technical innovation, and to provide JNCC with access to specialists in micro-businesses.
Our Business Associates Framework provides us with a wide network of trusted individuals who can take on specific tasks and activities, such as leading on technical drafting or facilitating delivery of specific project roles, thus broadening our skills and staff base without incurring additional salary costs. Our Business Associates also enable us to more efficiently manage delivery risks and to alleviate pressure points on existing staff resources, and ensure greater flexibility. All our Associates work to the same high standards than JNCC operates to.https://jncc.gov.uk/about-jncc/how-we-work/who-we-work-with/business-associates-framework/
Working as a BA has enabled Geoger to be involved in some fascinating, and diverse projects. These range from vineyard mapping in Chile where a research component was required looking at the back-scatter return from Sentinel-1 radar data, to the generation of some Web Processing Service (WPS) code, to generating code and workflows for use on the JASMIN computing cluster.