Biodiversity on Islands: IUCN Summit Begins

The IUCN, the world conservation union, has today produced a publication examining the challenges facing the 28 overseas entities of the European Union. The release of “Climate Change and Biodiversity in the EU Overseas Entities” coincides with the start of a five day conference on Reunion Island, where delegates will discuss strategies to counter climate change and biodiversity loss.

EU overseas entities (including the UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies) are, in the main, small tropical islands. Many depend on the integrity of their natural environment to provide employment in fishing, tourism or in the trade of natural products. Many are threatened by climate change and sea level rise, unsustainable development of infrastructure for recreation and leisure, unsustainable fishing practices and over exploitation of natural resources. These factors pose tremendous threats to the many endemic species which are found in these areas.

The BES is a member of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF) which exists to promote the conservation of the species and habitats of the UK’s Overseas Territories. It acts as a central point of liaison between NGOs and Government in the UK and in the Territories. The BES is present at the IUCN conference in Reunion as an observer.

View Live Webcast of IUCN Reunion Conference: 7 – 11 July 2008