UKOT and CD implementation of CBD


The UK has responsibilities towards 14 semi-autonomous Overseas Territories and 3 semi-autonomous Crown Dependencies. Both individually and collectively the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies make a significant contribution to global biological diversity. Many of their species and habitats are endemic or range restricted. 

Neither the Overseas Territories nor the Crown Dependencies can enter independently into an international agreement. When the UK ratifies an international agreement, it does not automatically extend to the Overseas Territories or the Crown Dependencies. An international agreement only extends to an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency once an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency chooses to have it extended to them.

The CBD has been extended to the following Overseas Territories: the British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; the Falkland IslandsGibraltarSt Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha; and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands

The CBD has also been extended to the following Crown Dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey; and the Isle of Man

Relevant Bodies & Policies

The primary responsibility for biodiversity conservation within an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency lies with the respective Government of that Territory or Dependency. However, the UK Government can and does provide support for biodiversity conservation to the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. 

The UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsForeign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee are the UK Government bodies that primarily support biodiversity conservation in the Overseas Territories. In 2009, Defra, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DFID) and JNCC  co-developed the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy, which was last reviewed in 2014. . Defra, in consultation with the Overseas Territories Governments, is currently developing a new shared Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy, to be published later in 2024. The Ministry of Defence also supports biodiversity conservation in certain Overseas Territories. 

Further information on biodiversity conservation in the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies can be found on the JNCC’s Overseas Territories webpage and the website of the non-governmental organisation The UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum

Darwin Plus (also known as The Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund) is the UK Government’s financial instrument for providing funding for environmental projects in UK Overseas Territories and related fellowships for UK Overseas Territories Nationals. Darwin Plus supports capacity development within the Overseas Territories, to allow them to meet their long-term strategic outcomes for the natural environment.