There’s good news for biodiversity conservation in the millions of square kilometres of land and ocean that make up European Union (EU) Overseas Countries and Territories with the launch of a grants fund of over €6 million to be coordinated by IUCN.
EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) are linked to Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Found in every ocean from the poles to tropical latitudes, these places are home to a rich diversity of species and ecosystems including polar seas, volcanic islands and coral reefs which are highly vulnerable to human impacts and increasingly, the impacts of climate change.
A green turtle nesting on Ascension Island, a UK Overseas Territory
The need to support conservation efforts in these entities has been recognised by the European Parliament which introduced the BEST initiative – ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories’. In 2011 and 2012, 18 projects were funded in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, French Guiana, Greenland, Antarctic, South Atlantic and Macaronesia.
Now a consortium of regional knowledge hubs and a central team coordinated by IUCN are developing regional ecosystem profiles and funding strategies within the BEST framework.
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Carole Martinez, email@example.com