Evidence to UK’s Environmental Audit Select Committee, 17 April 2013

Evidence on the state of environmental protection in the UK’s overseas territories was given to the Environmental Audit Select Committee on 17 April 2013. Comments by the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and committee member Caroline Lucas MP was reported via twitter by @Sthelenamonitor (Simon Pipe).

A video webcast of the hearing can be seen here (with a possible loss of sound at the start).

The following tweets were sent during and shortly after the hearing:

  1. DfID ‘has supported’ eco protection alongside St Helena airport ‘and that’s good to see’, RSPB told Parly’s environment audit cttee today

  2. UK overseas territories biodiversity group ‘barely functions’, lacks authority, doesn’t report to ministers, UKOTCF told Parly envir cttee

  3. DFID’s commitment to overseas territories shown by moving desk officer to Scotland. Hard to link up, UKOTCF told Parly environment cttee.

  4. UK’s environmental protection of overseas territories ‘not working’ says MP CarolineLucas

  5. Green MP Caroline Lucas says ‘shocking’ situation with UK and environment in overseas territories.

  6. GibChronicle MPs told of ‘scandalous’ Navy failure to block Spanish fishing in Gibraltar waters.

  7. Pitcairn Island has an excellent environment body but only 50 population and a part-time official, RSPB tells MPs.

  8. Five major environmental Bills in overseas territories have stalled, MPs told by RSPB

  9. An NGO in a UK overseas territory ‘withheld its evidence’ to Parly environment committee fearing local repercussions

  10. Tristan da Cunha praised for exemplary fisheries management in rspb evidence of MPs’ environment committee.

  11. Most UK overseas territories have no freedom of information laws, RSPB tells environmental audit committee in Parly

  12. Decisions in most overseas territories are made behind closed doors and hard to understand, RSPB told MPs. Creates risk of corruption.

  13. People of overseas territories affected by climate change, over-fishing, albatross by-catch, but are not to blame RSPB told MPs today.

  14. People of overseas territories depend on natural environment but can’t influence major threats, RSPB told MPs today

  15. We are pleased FCO has started referring to environment charters that were left out of overseas territories White Paper, UKOTCF told MPs.

  16. 2012 White Paper on overseas territories weakened commitment to environment, UKOTCF told MPs today.

  17. We’re looking for concrete actions to match UK Gov’s fine words on environment, RSPB told MPs today.

  18. Education on some territories means islanders can’t take on masters degrees in environment, RSPB tells MPs MPs.

  19. There have been very good students from St Helena gaining environmental qualifications in UK, RSPB tells MPs.

  20. Monteserratt has potential for geo-thermal energy, says UKOTCF. ‘they suffer from volcano; should enjoy benefits.’

  21. Tremendous potential for solar energy in Caribbean overseas territories, UKOTCF tells MPs. Wind problematic.

  22. Mangroves on overseas territories should be protected to defend islands against storms, MPs in UK told by UKOTCF.

  23. There are blockages in moving to sustainable energy in overseas territories, says UKOTCF. UK needs to encourage.

  24. Local awareness of environment is good in overseas territories but scale of challenge is enormous, MPs told

  25. Overseas territory people are much closer to their environmnents that people in London, MPs told.

  26. What about the issue of overseas territory tax havens? MPs asks UKOTCF. ‘I’m an environmentalist, not tax expert!’

  27. We are ‘fire fighting’ eco problems in UK overseas territories because of lack of UK strategy, UKOTCF tells MPs.

  28. Pitcairn and Tristan da Cunha islanders welcome RSPB help to protect threatened birds, MPs are told. support ‘vital’

  29. Top RSPB priorities in overseas territories are killer mice on Gough Island, rats on Henderson island, MPs are told.

  30. UK govt has no vision of needs on biodiversity in overseas territories, UKOTCF tells MPs. Funding is ‘scattergun’.

  31. Falklands birds are well known but we know little of moths in Montserratt, MPs hear in overseas territories hearing.

  32. We don’t even know about all the species in the UK overseas territories, MPs are told (research on marine life is in hand on St Helena)

  33. Cost and time mean TV programmes from overseas territories are ‘out of the question, MPs are told

  34. Having publicly funded documentaries about overseas territories would be fascinating for UK people, RSPB tells MPs.

  35. Stories about overseas territories are fascinating, UKOTCF tells MPs, but they’re ‘virtually invisible’ compared with French territories.

  36. Overseas territories citizens in UK buy lottery tickets so their home islands should benefit from funding, UKOTCF tells Select Committee

  37. There’s no legal bar to lottery funds for overseas territories but ‘local priority’ stops grants, UKOTCF tells MPs.

  38. Dutch overseas territories can bid for lottery funding while UK territories cannot, UKOTCF tells MPs.

  39. UK overseas territories lack access to big EU funds while French outlying islands can apply, thanks to constitutional differences RSPB tells MPs.

  40. No sign that EU funding for overseas territories environments will continue beyond this year, RSPB tells UK MPs.

  41. Funding remit of Darwin projects plus goes beyond biodiversity; £2m a year only scratches the surface, MPs are told

  42. Overseas territory governors need wisdom and affinity with locals, Mike Pienkowski of UKOTCF tells MPs.

  43. On St Helena, UK govt has supported good environmental laws, MPs told (but no law protects its historic buildings)

  44. Overseas territories would welcome UK government action on environment. UK Gov leaves it to the locals.

  45. Lack of accountability in overseas territory governments gets in the way of scrutiny, MPs are told.

  46. Public in UK do care about eco issues in overseas territories, says RSPB in evidence to MPs.

  47. DEFRA has vast biodiversity resources that overseas territories can’t access, RSPB tells MPs.

  48. UK’s biodiversity committee for overseas territories lacks power and ‘barely functions’, UKOTCF tells MPs.

Leave a Reply