St Helena gets top rating for environmental protection

An investigation has highlighted “legal neglect” of biodiversity in the UK’s overseas territories – but not on St Helena.

The territory, which formally includes Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, is one of only three to have been singled out for praise in a report by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

It says:

  • Gibraltar is the Overseas Territory that best demonstrates good practice across the board
  • The British Virgin Islands have notable good practice in its site protections
  • St Helena has notable good practice in its development control mechanisms

The RSPB also praised the island while giving evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in London. It also acknowledged the careful stewardship of the marine environment and fisheries around Tristan da Cunha.

However, it also had criticism for the lack of government transparency in territories – a problem that has been highlighted in St Helena.

The Ascension Island Conservation organisation has been highly active in projects to monitor turtles and land crabs, and improve habitat for frigate birds by eradicating wild cats.

St Helena’s environment department has begun identifying marine life around the island, and is working on a new protection plan for The Peaks.

Read more here.

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