The appointment will take effect from 1 October 2010 for a period of three years.
JNCC is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, including bio- and geo-diversity. Its work contributes to those of the four country nature conservation agencies - Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (Northern Ireland), the Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage in maintaining and enriching biological diversity, conserving geological features and sustaining natural systems. JNCC delivers the UK and international responsibilities for terrestrial and marine environments of the four country nature conservation agencies.
All appointments to JNCC are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activities of appointees to be made public. Dr Bridgewater has not declared any political activity.
The remuneration payable as Chair is currently £40,059 per annum based on two days per week. Dr Bridgewater does not hold any other ministerial appointments.
The appointment has been made in accordance with the code laid down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Commissioner is independent of the Government and was appointed to follow up certain recommendations of the Nolan Committee. The intention of the Code is to provide an efficient and transparent appointments system in which both candidates and the public can have confidence.
Dr Bridgewater is an experienced conservationist particularly in the fields of biodiversity and sustainable development. Previous to his appointment as Chair of the JNCC he held the posts of: Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on wetlands from 2003 - 2007; Secretary, UNESCO “Man and the Biosphere” Programme and Director, Division of Ecological Sciences (1999 - 2003); Chief Science Adviser, Environment Australia, and Supervising Scientist, Alligator Rivers Region (1997 - 99); and, Chief Executive, Australian Nature Conservation Agency (including the statutory appointments of Director National Parks and Wildlife Service) (1990 -1997).
He has been a member of a number of international committees and undertakes independent work for international environment and conservation agencies. In 1995 he was awarded, with Aboriginal landholders, the UNESCO Picasso Gold Medal for excellence in managing a World Heritage cultural landscape.