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MCZ Advice Protocols 2013


The independent review of candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs), undertaken in 2011, recommended that for evidence-based processes, protocols should be developed and shared between the country nature conservation bodies for the provision of formal advice on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). A set of protocols was developed by JNCC and Natural England for the provision of formal advice on MCZs.

To promote openness and transparency, external comment on the draft protocols was sought. Comments were received from the Defra commissioned Independent Expert Review Group and a variety of stakeholders on the majority of these protocols and the comments were considered by JNCC and Natural England.

The final versions of the MCZ advice protocols are available to view below. These protocols were used by JNCC and Natural England in the production of the post Regional MCZ Project advice package which was submitted to Defra in July 2012, and have been used in further MCZ advice where necessary and appropriate. All scientific advice and evidence used by JNCC adheres to JNCC’s Evidence Quality Assurance Policy.

The protocols cover:

  • (A) Strategic protocol – The principles underpinning our SNCB advice on MCZ designation
  • (B) Quality assurance and independent expert review;
  • (C) Document style and format;
  • (D) Audit trail – version control and record keeping;
  • (E) Assessing the scientific confidence in the presence and extent of features in recommended MCZs; and Guidance on aspects of the practical application of the Protocol for MPA work
  • (F) Assessing scientific confidence of feature condition; and
  • (G) Assessing risk to recommended MCZs
  • (H) Assessing the contribution of existing sites to the network
  • (I) Assessing certainty in the appropriateness of conservation objectives

These advice protocols underpin the information in the MCZ Levels of Evidence paper, published January 2015. An addendum was made to this paper in November 2016.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2013··

The MCZ Advice Protocols were developed as a result of independent review recommendations, highlighting the need for evidence-based processes and protocols.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2019·12·11

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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