Mar 15 - Gibraltar Attends Overseas Territories Biodiversity Conference

textDr Liesl Torres, Principal Secretary of the Department of the Environment, along with Dr. Keith Bensusan, head of the Strait of Gibraltar Bird Observatory is currently representing Gibraltar this week at a conference on Biodiversity Conservation in the UK Overseas Territories. The meeting is being held in London at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

The event is being attended by a number of NGOs, UK Government departments and representatives from most of the Overseas Territories, including Monserrat, the Cayman Islands and St. Helena, some of whom, Drs Torres and Bensusan have worked with in the past.

The conference aims to foster and facilitate working relationships between the various UKOTs on all environmental matters. It will focus particularly on the responsibilities of each territory, and of the UK Government, in relation to their commitments under various international biodiversity conservation agreements and conventions.

Delegates attended an event on Monday in the UK Houses of Parliament that allowed the environmental experts to meet and discuss issues with UK Parliamentarians. Commenting on the matter, Minister for the Environment, Dr. John Cortes explained that the Government values its contact with the UK Overseas Territories and working with them will benefit all concerned.

He added, ‘Gibraltar has an obligation to protect what is a significant part of the overall biodiversity of British Territory and Territorial Waters, and is committed to doing so’.