Banner image: Participants in the Jersey conference. Copyright: UKOTCF/States of Jersey

Jersey hosted an international environment conference from 6th to 12th October 2006, with a focus on UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small islands.

 

The conference was organised by UKOTCF, in consultation with the Environmental Department of the States of Jersey, the Société Jersiaise, the National Trust for Jersey and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. It was supported by the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development. It was the fourth such conference following the first held in London in 1999, the second in Gibraltar in 2000 and the third in Bermuda in March 2003.

 

Conference venue: Hotel L’Horizon, St Brelade’s Bay

The conference provided a forum for government environmental agencies and NGOs to discuss key conservation issues, to highlight success stories, exchange ideas, and to forge partnerships. It was planned so that Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small island communities, which share similar environmental problems would benefit from each other’s experiences and history of planning and conservation initiatives, as well as from holding the conference in Jersey.

 
Conference in session; Copyright: UKOTCF

The main topics had been determined after wide consultations amongst conservationists working in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Main sessions were:

  • Environmental education and the UKOTs
  • Environmental Charters and strategic planning
  • Integration of conservation and sustainable livelihoods
    • Terrestrial
    • Marine, including fisheries
  • Obtaining and Using Resources (not just money)
  • Species conservation issues:
    • Dealing with alien invasive species
    • Species recovery including captive breeding

The full proceedings can be downloaded here.

Jersey is within the Baie du Mont St Michel, which has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world. The wildlife and habitats are outlined on our Jersey page. 

The conference dates coincided with the most extreme tides for 4 years; Copyright: UKOTCF

The low tide allowed a range of walks along the sea-bed at low-water – in particular a 3-hour, 3-mile journey across  one of the most unusual intertidal habitats on the planet. With each low tide, the Bailiwick of Jersey doubles in size. Our guided walk across part of “the other half of the Crown Dependency” was led by marine  biologist and “professional walker”, Andrew Syvret – one of the most experienced guides to this area  – and his team of skilled volunteers. The south-east coast of the Island forms the last vestiges of Great Britain’s land-bridge to continental Europe. Of great cultural and historical significance to Jersey-folk,  this area was designated as the Channel Island’s first Ramsar site in 2000. It is home to an astonishing variety  of life, site of a French invasion and once upon a time proposed location for an international airport.  

Participants were fascinated by boulder-fields, oyster-farms, lagoons, wave-cut platforms, sand banks and  saltwater-filled gullies on the way to and from two of Jersey’s most interesting coastal defence towers; Copyright: UKOTCF