Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories - Environmental Audit Committee Contents


8.  Defra must empower its staff to visit the UKOTs to meet elected representatives and civil servants and to examine environmental issues in person in order effectively to discharge their responsibilities. (Paragraph 9)

9.  The FCO must prioritise greater involvement by representatives from the UKOTs in setting the agenda at future [Joint Ministerial Councils]. (Paragraph 10)

10.  The UK must fulfil its core environmental obligations to the UN under the CBD in order to maintain its international reputation as an environmentally responsible nation state. The FCO must agree a timetable to extend ratification of the CBD with all inhabited UKOTs where this has not yet taken place. That may entail preparations in the UKOTs, which must be clearly timetabled. The FCO must immediately extend ratification of the CBD to all uninhabited UKOTs. (Paragraph 19)

11.  The UK Fifth National Report to the CBD, which must be submitted by 31 May 2014, must include comprehensive entries on biodiversity protection in those UKOTs to which the CBD has been extended—British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. (Paragraph 21)

12.  The FCO must immediately contact the UNECE to ascertain whether the UNECE believes that the UK has extended ratification of the Aarhus Convention to all the UKOTs. We recommend that the FCO reviews its standard procedure for excluding the UKOTs from the stipulations of international treaties under Article 29 of the Vienna Convention and consider introducing a more transparent procedure. (Paragraph 25)

13.  In light of the FCO Minister's commitment to enhanced transparency and the inadequacy of the planning regimes in many UKOTs , the FCO must agree with UKOTs Governments a timetable to extend ratification of the Aarhus Convention. (Paragraph 25)

14.  Defra must restate its commitment to Environment Charters and use them to deliver its CBD commitments in the UKOTs. Darwin Plus funding should be linked to compliance with the terms of Environment Charters. (Paragraph 27)

15.  In addition to agreeing a timetable with all UKOTs Governments to ratify the CBD, Defra must draw together UKOTs Governments, NGOs such as the RSPB, civil society and research institutions to agree a comprehensive research programme to catalogue the full extent of biodiversity in the UKOTs. (Paragraph 31)

16.  Defra must work with UKOTs Governments on developing planning regimes which value and protect natural capital and which promote sustainable tourism industries and economies. Accordingly, the FCO must direct its Governors strongly to advocate the introduction of effective development controls. In particular, the Governors in Anguilla and Montserrat must prioritise the passage of stalled environmental legislation which, if enacted, would at least provide baseline standards on development control. (Paragraph 38)

17.  Defra has increased spending on protecting biodiversity in the UKOTs since 2007-08, but a further step change in Darwin Plus funding is required adequately to address the scale of the UK's international responsibilities to protect biodiversity. (Paragraph 39)

18.  The FCO must advance the proposition in negotiations in the European Council that LIFE+ funding should be extended to schemes that protect biodiversity in the UKOTs. (Paragraph 40)

19.  The FCO must press the European Commission to build on the pilot and implement a permanent BEST scheme. (Paragraph 41)

20.  We recommend that DCMS extends the right to play the National Lottery to UKOTs residents using terminals and via the internet . When this is achieved, DCMS should direct the Heritage Lottery Fund to accord applications for projects in the UKOTs equal priority with applications for projects in the UK. (Paragraph 42)

21.  Defra and the FCO must complete the legal protections for the marine environment in BIOT by prohibiting all extractive activities. (Paragraph 47)

22.  Defra and the FCO must respond positively to the Pitcairn Islanders' request to establish a fully protected MPA in line with UN Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to protect 10% of the world's oceans by 2020. (Paragraph 48)

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Prepared 16 January 2014