Convention on Biological Diversity - a workshop for small territories


Of the twenty UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies only seven have had the UK’s ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) extended to them. The most recent extension was made to the Isle of Man in 2012.


Government officials within Guernsey and the Falkland Islands are currently exploring implications of signing up to the CBD (via extension from the UK). In consultation with these islands, JNCC supported a workshop to identify the implications of extending the CBD in terms of process, resources, obligations and ongoing commitment. The workshop brought togetherGuernsey town © Guernsey Biological Records Centre representatives from Territories at different stages in the process of signing up to the CBD to share their experiences, including the Isle of Man, Jersey, the Falkland Islands and the UK. It was held in Guernsey on 22-23 October 2012.


There had been concerns that signing up to the CBD would prove difficult for a small jurisdiction to undertake. However, the reality is that requirements for the Convention fall to individual Territories and there is no obligation to have similar legislation in place to that in the UK. The key requirement of the CBD (Article 6a) is for the signatory to have a strategy, plan or programme for the sustainable use of biodiversity.


A number of participants commented on how useful the workshop had been including Eric Blencowe, Defra’s Head of International Biodiversity Policy Unit: “I was struck very much by the enthusiasm of those attending to make things work in their Territory, and it was a real pleasure to try and provide some insight into the CBD “machine”, as well as the proceedings and outcome of the recent CBD meeting in Hyderabad.”


The outcomes of the workshop are being drawn up and will form the basis of a generic report on the implications for small islands of signing up to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  It is anticipated that this report will be made available on the JNCC website in  Spring 2013.



Contact File


Elizabeth Moore

Biodiversity Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866861


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