The European Union (EU) has recognised the importance of Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories in its recently adopted EU Biodiversity Strategy: Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020.
Achieving the EU and global 2020 biodiversity targets will require the full engagement and commitment of a wide variety of stakeholders. To secure this, the EU will expand and promote a number of key partnerships to support this strategy:
- The Commission and Member States will work with the Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories, which host more endemic species than the entire European continent, through the BEST (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas) initiative to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
“Europe’s overseas territories can potentially make a major contribution to EU international commitments to the CBD Nagoya and the UNFCCC Cancun outcomes. BEST can have an important catalytic impact on how biodiversity and climate change issues in Europe overseas are addressed by the EU, both domestically and internationally” explained Ms Dominique Benzaken, Coordinator of the IUCN EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme.
The Open call for proposals for BEST has been launched yesterday, on the 05 May 2011. The deadline for proposals is the 09 September 2011, 17hrs Brussels' time.