Beyond mainland: UK Overseas Territories

The UK Biodiversity Framework which is designed to give a common frame to the UK countries’ strategies applies also to the UK Overseas Territories (OTs).


The UK’s 14 Overseas Territories are incredibly diverse; they include thousands of small islands, vast areas of ocean, but also land, in Antarctica, which is six times the size of the United Kingdom. They include one of the world’s richest communities, in Bermuda; and the most remote community, in Tristan da Cunha. They are internationally recognised for their exceptionally rich and varied natural environments. They are home to an estimated 90% of the biodiversity found within the UK and the Territories combined and include two of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas. On marine issues the UK government has recently published the report State of the UK Seas.

Although primary responsibility for biodiversity conservation and wider environmental management in the Territories has been devolved to their own governments, the UK government retains some responsibility for external relations and international treaties.

Recently, the White Paper on the Overseas Territories was published by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to present ways to foster high standards of governance, build strong communities, and promote the development of wider partnerships for the Territories.

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