The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not had specific discussions with the overseas territories on amendments to their animal protection regulations. Environmental issues within each overseas territory are the responsibility of the local government. The Overseas Territories Environment Programme has provided funding to Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla to update their more general environmental legislation, which includes animal protection legislation.
The Government are concerned about the effect that climate change is having on reef environments in the overseas territories, which account for approximately 2 per cent. of the world's coral. The United Kingdom chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a forum to discuss the protection and safeguarding of coral reefs from 2003 to 2005. The current chairs are Mexico and the USA. The next meeting of ICRI will take place in Washington in January 2008. Particular attention will be given to the protection of coral reefs in the Caribbean, including the overseas territories.
The Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development funded programme, identified mitigation of the effects of climate change as a priority for the overseas territories. Through this programme, we have funded a number of climate change-related projects including an ongoing study of the coral reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT) territorial waters. We have also funded the establishment of a coral reef identification guide for use by marine biologists.
Regular scientific expeditions to BIOT to monitor the marine environment, including coral reefs, are undertaken by the BIOT environmental adviser from Warwick University.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not provide funding for the administration of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum. Through the Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint FCO and Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, we have provided funds to the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum to carry out specific projects. The FCO provided £68,502 to the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum for project activities in 2006-07. DFID has provided £81,706 so far this financial year for project activities.