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
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.
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.
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
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
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.