Blue Turtle Award 2013 – call for nominations for outstanding overseas conservationists

 

17 January 2014 

 

There are many examples of incredible work being done to conserve biodiversity in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies by the people who live there. 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.

 

The call for nominations for this year’s award for nature conservation work undertaken by an individual, or group of individuals from an Overseas Territories and Crown Dependency is now live. The work or project should have been in place for a year, demonstrate innovation and have made a real difference. Nominations are invited from governments, non-governmental organisations, the voluntary sector, the private sector and individuals. Please note that the deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday 28 March 2014.

 

The winner of last year’s Blue Turtle Award was Brian Naqqi Manco, from the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI). Working in nature conservation on the islands for the last 13 years in the private, public and voluntary sectors, Naqqi is deeply committed to his work. He has made a real difference to local neighbourhoods, increasing people’s knowledge about the islands’ rich biodiversity, and educating communities and future generations.

 

Marcus Yeo, Chief Executive 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 excellent conservation work by the people who live, in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. This year the Blue Turtle Award focuses on, acknowledges and rewards people’s efforts in the hope that others will be inspired by their achievements.”

 

Tony Weighell, Head of Overseas Territories & Crown Dependencies at JNCC said: “The Blue Turtle award aims to recognise the efforts made by committed individuals and groups to make a real difference to biodiversity conservation in their own Territory or Crown Dependency. This will be the fifth Blue Turtle award and we look forward to some inspiring nominations.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to editors:

 

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, Natural Resources 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.

 

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. Forms can be filled out online or by downloading a MS Word file. Guidance is included within the forms.

 

All emailed nomination forms should be submitted to the  no later than Friday 28 March 2014.

 

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. For further information please contact the JNCC Communications Team via  or on +44 (0)1733 866886.