Skip to main content

Montserrat: Biodiversity

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had on the preservation of the diversity of wildlife in (a) Montserrat and (b) Bermuda. (240965)

Officials have regular discussions with relevant environmental departments and organisations in Montserrat and Bermuda on the preservation of the diversity of wildlife in both territories and on how the UK can help both territories with environmental conservation.

In 2001, the Government signed environment charters with the overseas territories, including with Montserrat and Bermuda. The charters consist of a list of commitments for the Government and individual overseas territory governments to take forward to protect and safeguard the environment of each territory.

The Government provides funding through the Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development funded programme to assist territory governments with the implementation of the charters. Assistance is also available through the Darwin Initiative, a Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs fund, to support projects to assist territories to protect their biodiversity.

In Montserrat this year, the Governor and his staff have had discussions with the Ministry of Environment about the work they are doing on the preservation of wildlife, flora and fauna. The Governor's Office also liaises closely with UK environmental organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) about the work they are doing with the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture on environmental conservation in Montserrat, and to offer assistance in moving their work forward.

During 2008, the Governor in Bermuda has worked with the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audobon Society, a local charity for the protection of birdlife and habitats, to promote awareness of, and to help protect, Bermuda's diversity of wildlife. The Governor's Office has also hosted fundraising events to fund the purchase of a new reserve for the conservation of Bermuda's biodiversity.