Environmental issues that affect the Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas Territories, including climate change, will be discussed by ministers and senior officials this week.
Due to the global pandemic the Environment Minister’s Council will meet virtually to discuss a range of topics and how they can work together to benefit of the natural world.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture and Ray Harmer MHK, Minister for Policy and Reform, will represent the Island alongside members of the environment and climate change teams.
Common opportunities and challenges will be debated over two days on subjects such as invasive species, marine protection, coral diseases and carbon capture.
Minister Boot, said:
‘Although different in character, our Islands boast beautiful environments that are crucial to our economies and way of life.
‘We are facing a global climate change and biodiversity emergency and protecting the natural world has never been more important. The Isle of Man takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously but to have any chance we must work together.’
In 2016, the Isle of Man was recognised by UNESCO when it designated the entire Island as a Biosphere Reserve.
More recently the Island tabled a climate change bill that commits to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and introduced initiatives to reduce single use items, nurture areas of internationally important biodiversity, and planted more than 100,000 trees. The event is very timely as the climate change the bill was concluded by the House of Keys on Tuesday.
Minister Harmer, said:
‘It is important to recognise that the natural environment is important to our health, wellbeing and economy and it has never been more important to work together for the benefit of future generations. Our work on Climate Change is accelerating and this event provides us an opportunity to share and grow ideas.’
The meeting will be hosted by UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF) on Wednesday and Thursday having previously been hosted by the Isle of Man in 2018.