EU overseas example to us all, says European Commission

19 March 2012 | News story

The European Commission has published a video-presentation on EU action to support its Outermost Regions (ORs): Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion Island, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands.



"Being rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage, the unique geology and location of these regions provide Europe with opportunities to push back the boundaries of our knowledge, helping us to find new ways ahead to deal with the key challenges facing us such as globalization and climate change. The research itself and the data it throws off are shared, bringing forward not only new answers, but also strengthening ties between the cooperating regions and country," says the European Commission in its video.

It concludes: "Immense solar eruptions, micro organisms found in rain drops, from sun spots to spotted frog, to research into renewable resources of energy and the management of water resources, EU is helping Europe's outermost regions to turn topographical and geographical challenges into assets which can be an example to us all."

“The internationally recognized biodiversity of EU ORs, as well as Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) not only benefits local people and economies, but also enriches the EU with a unique cultural and natural heritage," affirms Dr Hans Friederich, IUCN Regional Director for Europe.

In 2011, IUCN released a dedicated report, which proposes recommendations to protect and sustainably manage the unique natural heritage of EU ORs and OCTs and calls for shared responsibility and increased collaboration between all involved.

With the support from the Government of France, the IUCN Programme on EU ORs and OCTs builds partnerships to meet biodiversity and climate change challenges in these territories. The Programme advances the implementation of the Message from Reunion Island  – a series of concrete actions to protect biodiversity, economies and diverse ways of life of EU ORs and OCTs.