The UK has responsibilities towards 14 semi-autonomous Overseas Territories and 3 semi-autonomous Crown Dependencies.
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; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; St 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.
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.
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 Affairs, Foreign, 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, they jointly developed the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy. An assessment of progress towards this strategy was made in 2014. The Ministry of Defence also supports biodiversity conservation in certain Overseas Territories.
Information on how the CBD is implemented within the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to which the CBD has been extended to can be found in the links to the respective Governments above.
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 increases capacity within the Overseas Territories, to allow them to meet their long-term strategic outcomes for the natural environment.