What we do
Image: The RSPB
The 14 UK Overseas Territories hold some of the world's most remarkable environments, from vast coral reefs to windswept albatross islands, and over 90% of the threatened wildlife for which the UK is responsible. These environments are, however, highly vulnerable. Whilst Territory environmental protection laws and policies follow good practice in some important areas, many Territories have significant gaps in their environmental governance which urgently need to be addressed.
In a welcome and ambitious passage in the 2012 Overseas Territories White Paper, the Prime Minister wrote: 'We see an important opportunity to set world standards inour stewardship of the extraordinary natural environments we have inherited'. The White Paper also announced a new strategic priority to ensure that the Territories 'abide by the same basic standards of good government as in the UK'.
In the first phase of a new project the RSPB has made an assessment of progress in Overseas Territories' environmental governance since 2012. This is based on a previous study we conducted three years ago (see below).
Analysis reveals that:
- Environmental governance in many Overseas Territories is advancing at pace. Seven major pieces of environment-related legislation have been adopted, and other legislation is due for adoption.
- Capacity assistance from the UK Government has helped, in particular, on policy relating to trade in endangered species. Reasons for progress include political vision, focus, and injection of capacity and financing assistance.
- The analysis also reveals at least seven pieces of key legislation remain stalled in administrations.
- Development regulation and accountability remain the two weakest areas.
This study confined itself to four areas of policy: protection of wild species, valuable wildlife sites, standards in the permitting of development and good governance in these processes. It restricted itself to legislation and formally adopted policies, not their implementation.
A second phase of the project, due to report in early 2017, will look at further policy areas.
2015 Progress Update - Environmental Governance in the Overseas Territories - summary leaflet
Date: 24 November 2015
2015 Progress Update - Environmental Governance in the Overseas Territories - detailed background assessments
An assessment of environmental protection frameworks in the UK Overseas Territories
The 14 UK Overseas Territories (OTs) are home to some of the world’s most remarkable wildlife. These unique environments, ranging from vast coral reefs to windswept albatross islands, are highly vulnerable, containing over 90% of the threatened biodiversity for which the UK is responsible.
Date: 12 March 2013
UK Overseas Territories environmental governance background assessments
Environmental governance background assessments for Anguila, Ascension, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, South Georgia, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks & Caicos Islands.
Jonathan HallHead of UK Overseas Terrritories UnitE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anguilla National Trust http://www.axanationaltrust.org/
Anguilla Department of Environment http://www.gov.ai/doenvironment/
Ascension Island Government http://ascensionconservation.org.ac/
Bermuda Audubon Society http://www.audubon.bm/
Chagos Conservation Trust http://www.chagosconservationtrust.org/
BVI National Parks Trust http://www.bvinationalparkstrust.org/
Cayman Islands Department of Environment http://www.caymanbiodiversity.com/
Cayman Islands National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.org.ky/
Falklands Conservation http://www.falklandsconservation.com/
Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society http://www.gonhs.org/
Montserrat Department of Environment http://www.malhe.gov.ms/
Montserrat National Trust http://www.montserratnationaltrust.ms/
St Helena National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.org.sh/
Tristan Island Agriculture and Natural Resources Department http://www.tristandc.com/wildlife.php
Turks and Caicos National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.tc/