Peter Beckingham & Mike Pienkowski launch book and open wise-water-use garden. Copyright: Ann Pienkowski
H.E. Peter Beckingham (right), then Governor of TCI, receives from Dr Mike Pienkowski a set of UKOTCF/TC National Museum TCI bird guides at their launch and at the opening of the UKOTCF/TCNM wise-water-use garden (with one of its information boards behind). Copyright: Ann Pienkowski

Peter Beckingham was appointed to the Council of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum in July 2018. He was Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands for three years, from October 2013 to October 2016. His previous positions in the Foreign Office included Ambassador to the Philippines (and non-resident Ambassador to Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands), and Deputy High Commissioner in India.

Peter worked closely with UKOTCF personnel and their related organisations on the islands. He helped to launch, and was an enthusiastic advocate, of their series of books on bird-watching in TCI, and supported the Turks & Caicos National Museum, which promoted the island’s environment. Peter and his wife, Jill, participated in voluntary island clean-ups, and they walked some 80 kilometres across all the six populated islands for three consecutive years to raise money for local NGOs, including the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund, of which Peter was a Patron. In the Philippines, Peter was also a Trustee of Coral Cay Conservation, working to protect the country’s superb reefs from damage. In many of his diplomatic appointments, including to the three Pacific Islands, which share many environmental challenges in common with the UK Overseas Territories, and which Peter visited on several occasions, he spent a good deal of time – and occasionally HMG funding – helping to develop environment projects with UK NGOs.

Commenting on his appointment as a Trustee of UKOTCF, Peter said: “I was thrilled to be asked to join this valuable and important organisation. This will give me an opportunity to continue my links to TCI, and some of the other Overseas Territories I have visited, and remain involved in the vital task of helping to preserve and sustain their environmental beauty. TCI’s slogan of ‘Beautiful by Nature’ is one it must work hard to retain”.