St Helena : Wanted: outstanding overseas conservationists JNCC launches the 2012 Blue Turtle Award
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 06.10.2012 (Article Archived on 20.10.2012)
There are many examples of incredible work being done to conserve biodiversity in the Overseas Territories
Wanted: outstanding overseas conservationists
JNCC launches the 2012 Blue Turtle Award
28 September 2012
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 the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) recognise this invaluable work with the Blue Turtle Award.
JNCC has launched this year’s 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. The work or project should have been in place for over a year, demonstrate innovation and have made a real difference. 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.
The winners of last year’s Blue Turtle Award were the Midweek Muckers, a group of volunteers who support the Manx Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves in the Isle of Man. The Muckers’ first project was at Close Sartfield Nature Reserve, where five acres of gorse were transformed into a wildflower meadow. The field now contains over 100 species of wildflower including six species of protected orchid. The volunteers also manage three other nature reserves.
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. There are many examples of professional and enthusiastic work by the local populations, often with little fanfare. The Blue Turtle Award acknowledges and rewards their efforts in the hope that others will be inspired by their achievements.”
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 2012.
Two new tiers specifically for children and young people in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will be launched in 2013. These tiers will replace the current Blue Turtle Award in 2013. One tier will be aimed at children aged 5-11 years and the second tier will be for young people aged 12-18 years. More details will follow early next year.
JNCC’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Programme Manager Tony Weighell, one of Award’s judges, said: “We spend a lot of our time preparing strategies and policies and setting targets for conservation work but it is easy to forget that these mean little without people on the ground committing time and effort to protecting and restoring the environment. This award is designed to recognise, in a modest way, these individual and group efforts. We also look forward to extending the award to younger age groups next year.”
1. For further information on criteria, eligibility and to download the nomination forms please click here. For questions about the award please contact the JNCC Communications Team. All nomination forms should be submitted to the Communications Team by 31 October 2012.
2. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has launched 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 Territory or Dependency.
The work or project should have been in place for over a year, demonstrate innovation and have made a real difference.
The Award will be £500 for the individual or the group and an additional £1,000 contribution to an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency nature conservation project of their choice.
3. 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.
4. One of JNCC’s priorities is to provide advice on the conservation of biodiversity in the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The United Kingdom’s 14 Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies 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 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.
5. 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).
6. For further information please contact the JNCC Communications Team on 01733 866886