View from a cliff top looking out over the cliffs and cloud forest above St Helena, sun shining through and highlighting the lush greenery of the landscape

UK Overseas Territories Policy

We work with UK’s Overseas Territories and the UK Government to help protect remarkable wildlife and habitats around the world

Increasing support

Close up view of two Henderson Lorikeets, with bright green, yellow and red plumage, perched on branches in front of a sunny blue sky

The UK’s Overseas Territories are home to 94% of our unique species. With conservationists from the different territories, we campaign for an increase in the scale and quality of UK Government financial and technical support. This is needed to protect the special places where these vulnerable species live.

We are also part of the Great British Oceans coalition to ensure ongoing support for the Blue Belt network of large-scale Territory marine reserves.

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Environmental Governance

Close up view of an endangered green turtle digging a nest in the golden sand on Ascension Island

We work to ensure the environmental governance in UK Overseas Territories is fit for purpose, celebrating best practice, and identifying and prioritising gaps which need to be addressed.


This focuses on policies which relate to:

  • the protection of species and habitats
  • the introduction of non-native species
  • marine conservation
  • planning and development


Our work has highlighted considerable progress in recent years as well as continuing areas of weakness in territory environmental laws and policies. 

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Biosecurity Policy

Close up view of two northern rockhopper penguins standing on a cliff edge with still, deep blue sea behind them, under a clear blue, sunny sky

Invasive species are one of the main threats to the unique wildlife in the UK Overseas Territories as they have not evolved to live alongside introduced predators. Removing an invasive species once established can be very costly or impossible, so we work with Territory partners to strengthen biosecurity laws/policies and support implementation. Prevention is far cheaper and easier than the cure.


Find out more in the Assessment of Biosecurity Legislation in the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories & Bermuda.

Marine Conservation Policy

Large number of brightly coloured fish swimming in shallow, clear blue waters, around bright pink coral

The UK Overseas Territories are collectively responsible for the sixth largest marine estate on the planet, and several visionary Territories have established some of the world's largest marine reserves to protect these pristine habitats. We work with Territory partners to support marine conservation and sustainable fisheries policy, with a particular focus on the South Atlantic Territories.


Find out more in the South Atlantic Overseas Territories Fisheries Sustainability Report.

Development Control Policy

View from a hillside looking out across the rocky, cliffside coastline, in

Poorly planned or uncontrolled development is a major threat to fragile habitats. This is especially true in the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories, where tourism developments on coastal margins or on wetlands significantly reduce climate resilience. We work with Territory partners to strengthen planning laws, striving to ensure that the most valuable nature sites are protected and that environmental impacts of development are properly assessed and mitigated. We also engage directly with developers.