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JNCC Open Data Policy 2018


Open data is “data that anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share for any purpose – subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness” (The Open Definition). Open data is recognised in government policy and by civil society as a system of principles and best practice designed to increase the accessibility and maximise re-use of useful data and drive benefits for society and the economy. Within biodiversity and conservation, open data complements other progressive movements such as open science and open access.

In 2017 JNCC and the UK’s statutory nature conservation bodies agreed a future ambition to improve the open availability of biodiversity data by 2020. In support of this ambition JNCC has developed a plan to release all its data at the level of detail originally captured, under the terms of an open licence, except where there are legitimate reasons not to publish.

All data collected under partnership will be released (possibly at a reduced level of detail) within two years, and made fully open within five years. Environmentally sensitive data will be made openly available to the same timescales at the highest level of detail consistent with the avoidance of harm.

Public authorities in the UK have a general obligation to proactively disseminate environmental information that they hold to the public by electronic means. This includes data from monitoring of activities that could affect the environment. As an advisory body to government on biodiversity and nature conservation, JNCC produces and maintains a large number of potentially useful datasets. JNCC's open data programme will increase public availability of environmental information and promote transparency in decision-making about the environment.

JNCC also aspires to be a pioneer, innovator and inspiration to others within the open data community by both internal action and, in cooperation with partner organisations, actively engaging with users to promote re-use of open data. JNCC will also work to significantly reduce its own reliance on non-open data.

JNCC’s Open Data Policy is central to this approach. Publication of open data is bounded by standards and principles that cover a range of subjects such as licensing, accessible formats, communications, project planning, and risk assessment. The JNCC policy draws together key material from these areas and presents it in a cohesive manner as rules and advice for implementation within an organisation. The policy includes a framework for risk management of open data, with a particular focus on protection of personal data and avoidance of ecological harm.

This policy has been written with JNCC staff as the primary audience but has also been designed for open publication so that it may be adapted for use by other organisations, either as policy or as a basis for guidance. The full text of JNCC’s Open Data Policy is re-usable under the Open Government Licence.

For more information about JNCC open data please visit our site at If you have any questions or feedback about this policy or about JNCC’s data please contact

Resource type NonGeographicDataset

Topic category Economy

Reference date 2018·05·24

Produced as an output from JNCC's Open Data Project.

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC owner

Limitations on public access None

Use constraints Open Government Licence v3.0. Attribution statement: "JNCC © copyright 2018".

Metadata date 2019·07·04

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

Temporal extent 2018·05·24 2018·05·24

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