Post Title: Biodiversity Specialists (10 posts, four teams)
Teams: International Advice, Ecosystem Analysis, International Implementation, Nature Conservation Policy & Advice
Ref No: 2021/45
Type of appointment: Permanent and fixed term – details below
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen
JNCC is adopting a more flexible approach to working options and, when we can return to working in our office locations, our people will have more flexibility about where they choose to work. The expectation is that staff will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. These posts may require foreign travel, subject to JNCC, Government and international regulations and guidelines on Covid safe international travel. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.
Who are JNCC?
Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together 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 under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by 220 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.
We’re small enough that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. We have an exceptionally wide range of UK and international partners and working networks, including with governments, NGOs, academics, and the private sector. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture. Our Executive Management provides staff with the freedom and tools you will need, and our friendly team will assist you in your role. You will benefit from our supportive workplace culture, excellent holiday and pension benefits, as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.
Hours of work: Full-time
Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday. We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, flexi-time and compressed hours.
The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) provides advice and technical support to the UK Government, the Overseas Territories and other international partners to implement Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), and build capacity through UK and international partnerships, and project implementation, to manage and enhance biodiversity. Key aspects of its advisory and implementation roles are to develop and implement the concepts of ‘nature-based solutions’ and ‘natural capital’ in the UK and overseas – particularly in response to climate change – and to deploy UK science and technology at its best to build effective partnerships at home and abroad to enhance the understanding of the value of biodiversity to all sectors of society.
Modelling, mapping and valuing ecosystem services in the UK and overseas, are at the heart of our project implementation roles. A major focus of our advice role to UK Government is the post-2020 Global Biodiversity framework and the need to produce and advise on the use of biodiversity indicators in UK and MEA reporting.
JNCC is significantly enhancing its international and UK capacity to provide advice and implement projects through the recruitment of ten highly motivated individuals to join four of its teams – International Advice, Ecosystems Advice, International Implementation and Nature Conservation Policy & Advice. The four teams are inter- disciplinary, bringing together skills in biodiversity science, advice to government, biodiversity monitoring, rapid data analysis and model deployment, and earth observation alongside international community engagement and on-the ground project implementation in the UK’s Overseas Territories and South America.
The precise duties and responsibilities for each post will be determined depending on the skills of successful candidates all of whom will be will be expected to have been educated to degree level and have a good understanding of biodiversity issues with international work or research experience an advantage. Post holders will be expected to be highly flexible, willing to work with marine and terrestrial advice and project implementation roles, to engage in long- and short-term projects and frequently working to tight and demanding deadlines. Overseas travel will be required for some posts.
There is a close working relationship between the four teams frequently combining staff in projects to deliver projects. The work of the teams includes:
International Advice Team
The International Advice Team (IAT) leads on providing advice to governments across the UK on a range of biodiversity-related Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Ramsar Convention on wetlands of international importance, amongst others. A major focus at present is supporting government on the negotiation of a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity framework to replace the, now expired, Aichi targets.
We also act as the UK’s CITES Scientific Authority for fauna and advise on >20k permit consultations per annum to ensure that trade in CITES specimens to or from the UK is sustainable. The Team also leads on the production of the UK biodiversity indicators, advises on the use of indicators used globally by MEAs, and drafts, on behalf of the UK government, national reports to several of the MEAs.
Ecosystem Analysis Team
The team helps JNCC’s stakeholders meet the challenges of managing our environment and the benefits it provides. Recent projects have included, working with partners to improve diversity and inclusion in citizen science monitoring; modelling and mapping ecosystem services in the UK and overseas; creating ‘apps’ to help land managers consider the trade-offs for nature based solutions, developing an indicator to show the environmental impact of UK consumption overseas; using machine learning to identify potential areas of peat restoration from EO imagery; and building an ‘app’ to aid remote habitat change detection for restoration, net gain and other applications. The team is inter- disciplinary, bringing together skills in citizen science monitoring, rapid analysis and model deployment, and earth observation application.
International Implementation Team
The International Implementation team has long established partnerships with the UK’s Overseas Territories (OTs) and has more recently developed partnerships in South America and Southern Africa. The strategic objective of these partnerships is to provide technical assistance and build capacity in partner Territories, countries and organisations enabling them to manage biodiversity, understand and respond to climate change impacts and build more secure food supplies.
The team implements a wide variety of on-the-ground projects with local partners, covering marine, terrestrial and coastal environments. Projects focus on supporting natural capital assessments in the terrestrial and marine environments, developing nature-based solutions to climate change impacts, and supporting the development of decision support tools by OT and international partners and implementing coral reef action plans. The team’s work aims to maximise access to data, exchange knowledge, and build capabilities to optimise land/marine management to protect and enhance biodiversity. The team collaborates with governments, communities and other stakeholders, to support them in understanding the economic and social value of biodiversity at national and community levels.
Nature Conservation Policy & Advice Team
The Nature Conservation Policy and Advice team brings together several major work areas in JNCC. We integrate UK efforts on protected sites, habitats and species, such as through the guidelines for Sites of Special Scientific Interest and UK advice on the national network of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. This is closely allied to our work in building the evidence base for landscape scale, natural capital orientated approaches to land management, engaging across the UK as each country develops incentives to meet environmental commitments outside of the Common Agricultural Policy. We are developing JNCC’s role as the interface for four countries working on the ecosystem impacts of air pollution, developing effective tools and evidence to more effectively meet pollution reduction commitments. We are also developing our pollution advice role both nationally and internationally, looking to reduce impacts of pollution on biodiversity loss.
At this critical time of change, we examine the development of emerging legislation and policy in the UK and devolved governments, assess its implications for JNCC, and communicate widely across the organisation. These key work areas are implemented through the prism of climate change and the biodiversity crisis, where traditional approaches to nature conservation will need to change and adapt, to meet to the challenges ahead.
There are 10 posts being advertised as part of this recruitment. The nature and specific duties of each post are summarised below, but the precise duties and responsibilities of each post will be determined depending on the skills of successful candidates. We will assess all applications for any of the roles listed below. Candidates are asked to state a preference under the Personal Statement section of the application but should be aware that these may not necessarily be taken into account.
- Evidence Specialist, Ecosystem Analysis (one permanent post)
- Collate and analyse information from stakeholders to help identify their evidence needs
- Research options for tackling evidence needs, drawing together internal and external sources of expertise
- Design and produce outputs from the evidence-base, including case studies, proofs of concept, evidence for policy summaries, tools, standards, and research reports or published research, working collaboratively with others
- Manage work packages for the team or other teams in JNCC, ensuring that staff resources are used effectively and that we work efficiently alongside external contractors
- Provide quality control and assurance for analytical projects
- International Biodiversity Adviser, International Advice (four permanent posts)
- Provide advice on issues relating to international biodiversity
- Prepare for international MEA meetings including assisting in drafting documents, gathering and analysing relevant evidence, and preparing briefings for UK delegations
- Develop a detailed knowledge of one or more MEAs and how they operate, build relationships across delegations, and build knowledge of the evidence base that influences the MEA
- Contribute to projects related to the work of the team including on climate change, nature-based solutions and strategy development
- Contribute generally to the work of the International Advice Team as required, including updating relevant web content; and
- Potentially, contributing to the work of the CITES licensing team.
- International Biodiversity Officers International Biodiversity Officers, International Implementation Team (3 posts: 1 permanent: 2 are 2 year fixed-term appointments with the possibility of extension)
- Work with a broad range of international partners and stakeholders in Overseas Territories and South American projects designed to support landscape scape decision making and climate change resilience/adaptation
- Coordinate meetings with international partners and audiences and maintaining and cultivating networks
- Support the team’s administration tasks critical to effective running of projects,
- Support identification and development of strategic international opportunities for the Team and JNCC
- Work routinely with colleagues in the UK Overseas Territories, Defra and FCDO NGOs and private sector partners
- Undertake project management and project/team level financial reporting.
- Environmental pollution advisers, Nature Conservation Policy & Advice Team (2 posts: 2 year fixed-term appointments with the possibility of extension)
- Manage project elements in the Defra ODA ‘Reducing Pollution through Partnership’ project such as the options appraisal to identify which low to medium income countries to work in and the types of interventions to undertake
- Work closely with Defra and JNCC colleagues to design and implement workshops required to deliver the project
- Support development and implementation of the Reducing Pollution through Partnership communication plan
- Support the project, Defra, JNCC and local countries using technical skills (e.g., data analysis, mapping, statistical analysis data interpretation for use in policy) as needed and dependent on candidate skill set
- Manage contracts including procurement (specification, tendering and letting contracts, with support from our procurement specialists)
- Support to the programme and team as needed, including planning, administration, project and task management, reporting, development of funding proposals and activities to further team cohesion.
To be a successful candidate you will be:
- Educated to degree level or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject and/or relevant recent practical work experience that provides the following knowledge, experience and behaviours.
To be a successful candidate you will have:
- A good understanding of the components of biodiversity and how these can be related to the services provided to society and to natural capital values.
- A good understanding of the pressures and impacts on biodiversity and how these might affect sustainable development based on examples either within the UK, or within our overseas territories, or other countries.
- A logical analytical approach to understand complex scientific or societal issues and identify the knowledge and evidence needed to inform them.
- Good writing skills and be able to synthesise complex information and communicate concepts to technical and non-technical audiences.
- An ability to engage with stakeholders and partners, determine their priorities and work collaboratively with them.
- Project and financial management experience.
- Making Effective Decisions
- Changing and Improving
- Communicating and Influencing
- Delivering at Pace
- Working Together
Please see the CS Behaviours Framework for more details at this grade:
Closing date and interview date
The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Monday, 28 June 2021
The anticipated interview dates are the week commencing Monday, 19 July 2021