The UK has launched a new Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund, which consolidates funds from the Foreign Office, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Department for International Development, dedicated to environmental and conservation projects in those territories.
The Overseas Territories are home to many species and environments found nowhere else in the world – including an estimated 90% of the biodiversity found within the UK and Overseas Territories combined. The unique environmental wealth of the Overseas Territories was highlighted in the recent UK Government White Paper on the Overseas Territories.
In welcoming the new £ 2 million Fund, Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said it was an excellent example of how to meet the White Paper commitment and provide coordinated support.
“It is a signal of how important we consider the environments of the Overseas Territories to be. I have high hopes that this Fund will lead to many innovative and creative projects which will result in better sustainable environmental management in the Overseas Territories, said the minister.
Following the announcement on the creation of the new Fund, Dr Tim Stowe, International Director from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, RSPB, praised the initiative.
This is excellent news for Britain's albatrosses, iguanas, whales, and elephant seals, and is a welcome announcement alongside the Government's recently announced action plan for Overseas Territories’ biodiversity.”
The new Fund provides a simpler and more co-ordinated funding mechanism and will support a range of environment and climate-related issues to ensure long-term sustainable natural resource management in the Overseas Territories.
The Fund was launched to coincide with the 11th meeting of theConference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India.