World Environment Day: over £ 8million for international conservation

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Endangered species such as whales, sea turtles and sharks will be better protected with a boost of more than £ 8million for projects in the British Overseas Territories, announced today ( Saturday, June 5) the government as part of plans to combat the global biodiversity crisis.

The funding will also help protect a number of rare species and vulnerable habitats around the world from threats from invasive species.

Over the next three years, 31 projects will receive £ 8.02million under the Darwin Plus program for the conservation of the unique and globally significant environments found in the British Overseas Territories.

Habitats and species that should benefit from funding include:

  • Threatened albatross species in the overseas territories of the South Atlantic, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, thanks to better monitoring of populations
  • A number of species found in the sister Cayman Islands will be protected from invasive species such as wild cats and invasive green iguanas
  • Anguilla shark populations, through better knowledge of their habitats and conservation needs, while developing local ownership of their conservation through greater community engagement
  • Ascension Islands sea turtles by improving their monitoring program using innovative modeling techniques and new labor-saving technologies
  • Coral reefs of the Indian Ocean by helping artisanal fishermen to sustainably manage these habitats on the island of Diego Garcia

International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

World Environment Day is a stark reminder of why we must take urgent action to reverse the loss of global biodiversity.

The Darwin Plus funding announced today will support the magnificent biodiversity hotspots that make up our overseas territories, so threatened by climate change. It will restore precious ecosystems, prevent the extinction of some of the world’s most wonderful species and, at the same time, transform the lives of the poorest communities.

Over the past decade, the Darwin Plus program has supported more than 120 individual projects supporting conservation in marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments. The UK government, as chair of the G7 and COP26, is leading the way globally in the fight to tackle climate change and fix the natural world.

Professor EJ Milner Gulland, University of Oxford and Chairman of the Darwin Expert Committee and the Darwin Plus Advisory Group, said:

The UK’s Overseas Territories are home to some of our most iconic and important endangered biodiversity, as well as rich and productive natural resources. Darwin Plus projects cover the full diversity of biodiversity, from wetlands to whales, and tackle issues ranging from controlling invasive thorns to monitoring endangered turtles. I am therefore very happy that on World Environment Day, the Darwin Plus fund is supporting overseas territories to conserve their precious biodiversity while building a sustainable future for people and nature.

Beccy Speight, RSPB CEO, said:

Our government has an important role to play as we all work to revive our world. The British Overseas Territories are home to 94% of the plants and animals found only on British soil. But these amazing places are threatened by nature and climatic emergencies.

Failure to act in our territories would increase the real risk of global extinctions, so this vital funding will help us meet our responsibilities to protect our precious wildlife, from the tropical rainforests of the Caribbean to the windswept albatross islands in the ocean. Southern. Today’s announcement, along with the UK government’s additional £ 1.5million contribution to support our major partnership project to restore Gough Island, a threatened World Heritage site in the UK- United in the South Atlantic, recognized as one of the most important islands for seabirds in the world, will be welcome. to the local community and to many who continue to support this vital work.

Last month, G7 climate and environment ministers pledged to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. In their efforts to address the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, all G7 members have also joined the global “30×30” initiative. conserve or protect at least 30 percent of the world’s land and at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030, as well as commit to “30×30” at the national level.

The funding announced today builds on the £ 220million earmarked for biodiversity conservation in developing countries and the doubling of UK international climate finance, announced by the Prime Minister at the Assembly General Assembly in 2019.

Today’s announcement is part of the government’s commitments to boost international ambition for action to tackle the biodiversity crisis and work towards nature-based solutions ahead of the G7, the upcoming 15th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity COP15), and the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow later this year. As the summit approaches, the UK is focused on four goals to drive progress: securing a global net zero, protecting communities and natural habitats from the impacts of climate change, mobilizing funding and working together to accelerate the action.

A full list of projects, including a number of smaller projects, that will be supported by the Darwin Plus program is available on the Darwin Initiative website.


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