The Isle of Man’s work to sustain its marine environment has been successfully showcased at an international UNESCO biosphere event.
Dr Peter Duncan, Senior Marine Environment Officer for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, represented the Island at the eighth meeting of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves in Menorca.
Peter joined delegates from 50 biosphere areas, all over the world, discussing shared environmental and economic challenges and solutions.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
'The Island is an active participant in the global network of biosphere reserves and is keen to work with areas we have much in common with, to share our own expertise and learn from them.
'As the Island’s territory is 87% sea, we have an important role to play in the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves. With a network of 10 marine protected areas around our coast, our marine life is well-protected and sustains fishing, recreation and tourism.
'Peter gave presentations on the important work we are doing in the Island to protect and restore marine habitats, working closely with those who use them for leisure and to earn a living.
'He told the success story of Ramsey Marine Nature Reserve, where careful co-management means the economically valuable scallop fishery is recovering and important habitats are being preserved.
'Following this meeting, we will create deeper ties with fellow island and coastal biosphere reserves and ensure we continue to draw on one another’s expertise,” the Minister said.
'For example, the Island has pledged to play a leading role in a new network project on marine plastics and their impact on the environment. This builds on work being done here to develop a strategy to reduce plastics – particularly single-use items – within government where possible.
'Working with other island and coastal biosphere reserves the world over will benefit us all as we seek a sustainable future.'