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OT Conservation Award

Wanted: outstanding overseas conservationists

JNCC launches Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Nature Conservation Award

There are many examples of incredible work being done to conserve biodiversity in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies by the local populations. Most of this work is carried out without any blaze of publicity to show others what is possible. Government nature conservation advisers JNCC want to help address this.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is launching an annual award for nature conservation work undertaken by an individual, or group of individuals from an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency, who have made a valuable contribution to nature conservation in their area. It is known as the 'Blue Turtle Award'.

The work or project should have been in place for over a year, demonstrate innovation and have made a real difference. In addition to a trophy, the Award will give 500 to the individual or the group, and an additional 1,000 contribution to an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency nature conservation project of their choice.

Marcus Yeo, Managing Director of JNCC, said: "The Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have an incredibly rich variety of plants and animals, but in some cases urgent action is needed to ensure their continued survival. Most of this action is undertaken by local people. We have been amazed at some of the innovation and best practice which can be found, most done with small numbers of people and boundless enthusiasm. We hope this Award will go some way to acknowledging and rewarding their efforts, in the hope that others will be inspired by their successes."

Nominations are invited from governments, non-governmental organisations, the voluntary sector, the private sector and individuals, and should be submitted no later than 31 October 2009. The award winner will be invited to the UK for an award presentation ceremony.

Tara Pelembe, JNCC's Overseas Territories Officer, commented: "We encourage everyone to think of projects and actions that deserve a wider audience and acknowledgement. We hope the Award will celebrate the great work that is happening, and act as a catalyst to stimulate new nature conservation initiatives."


  1. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, on behalf of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, the Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage. Its work contributes to maintaining and enriching biological diversity, conserving geological features and sustaining natural systems.
  2. One of JNCC's priorities is to provide advice on the conservation of biodiversity in the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
  3. The awards will be presented based on the following criteria:

    • Nature conservation benefit/added value;
    • Innovation;
    • Community involvement;
    • Linked to a specific project OR demonstrating long-term commitment and dedication.

    Any individual, or group of individuals (including governments) from and working on an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency, can be nominated.

    Nominations can be made by filling out a nomination form at Guidance is included within the form. Forms can be filled out online or by downloading a MS Word file.

    For questions about the award please contact (Overseas Territories Officer). All emailed nomination forms should be submitted to (JNCC Communications Team) no later than 31 October 2009.

  4. JNCC has adopted a high-level strategic objective, derived from our vision, to 'provide, to UK government departments, the governments of the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies and others, timely and sound advice to support the achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target, the progressing of Environment Charters, and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.'
  5. The United Kingdom's 14 Overseas Territories are a diverse grouping. They range from the tiny Pacific island of Pitcairn with 47 inhabitants and a fragile subsistence economy based on fishing, horticulture, and the sale of handicrafts, to Bermuda just north of the Caribbean, which has a population of more than 62,000 and is one of the world's major financial centres. They also include the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, which are military bases.

    The UKOTs have an amazing wealth of biodiversity. Of globally threatened species identified in the 2004 IUCN Red List, 74 critically endangered species occur in the UK Overseas Territories (compared to 10 in mainland UK) along with 49 endangered species (12 in mainland UK) and 117 vulnerable species (37 in the mainland UK). Many of these species are endemic and so are found nowhere else in the world.

    The Overseas Territories also hold regionally or globally important concentrations or assemblages of species. For example, Ascension Island supports the second largest green turtle rookery in the Atlantic; Gough Island (Tristan da Cunha) has been described as, arguably, the most important seabird island in the world; and the reefs of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) are some of the most pristine and best protected in the Indian Ocean (and account for some 1.3% of the world resource).

    The three Crown Dependencies are possessions of The Crown in Right of the United Kingdom, as opposed to overseas territories or colonies of the United Kingdom. They comprise the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. Being independently administered jurisdictions, none forms part of the United Kingdom or of the European Union.

  6. For further information please contact the JNCC Press Office on 01733 866839, or email