EVENT: Islands and Overseas Entities’ contribution to biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change

08 December 2011 | News story

The European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development will host an event on islands and Europe overseas on 20 December at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Six European Union Member States, namely the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Denmark, have a total of 34 Overseas Entities hosting an important diversity of landscapes, ecosystems and species. The marine importance of these territories is significant, allowing France to have the second exclusive economic zone in the world and the UK the fourth. Thanks to their exceptional geographic situation and their ecosystems’ resources, they have a key role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Despite their multiple assets in the field of biodiversity and climate change, islands and overseas entities have received limited attention from the EU and international policies.

The conference entitled “Strategies to Counter Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss,” which took place in La Reunion in 2008 under the French Presidency, created a political momentum at the EU and international stage for the recognition of islands and overseas entities’ assets and specificities. It is now time to act and give a real roadmap to these territories.

This conference on “Islands and Overseas Entities’ contribution to biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change” aims at raising awareness on the importance of overseas entities and islands’ assets to take up these crucial challenges. Indeed, the event will lead to a brainstorming session on the possible mechanisms that could enable these assets to be further considered by European and International decision-makers. This would allow the EU to promote islands and overseas entities’ specificities in the framework of its International commitments.

The event will be followed by a series of technical activities at the European and regional level to analyse these mechanisms in depth and to set strategic priorities for the BEST preliminary action, recently approved by the European Parliament. This will lead to a ministerial meeting in the European Parliament at the end of 2012 that will have the aim of materialising EU commitments before the next United Nations biodiversity and climate change conferences (CBD COP11 and UNFCCC COP18).

To register please contact Melanie Lamaison at melanie.lamaison@ebcd.org.