Banner poster: Most of the conference participants. UKOTCF/Cayman Islands Government

 

The Cayman Islands hosted an international environmental conference from 30th May to 5th June 2009, with a focus on UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small islands.

Official photo; Copyright: UKOTCF/Cayman Islands Government

The conference was organised by UKOTCF in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DoE) and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. It was supported by the Overseas Territories Environment Programme [OTEP] of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

 

Informal discussion take place during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park; Copyright: Dr Oliver Cheesman

 

The conference provided a forum for government environmental bodies and NGOs to discuss key conservation issues, to highlight success stories, exchange ideas, and to forge partnerships – so that Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small island communities that share similar environmental problems could benefit from learning about one another’s history and experience of planning and conservation initiatives. The overall aim was to draw on similarities and differences in experience across the territories, to provide insights into common challenges, leaving participants better equipped to address local needs.

It was the fifth such conference, following the first held in London in 1999, the second in Gibraltar in 2000, the third in Bermuda in 2003, and the fourth in Jersey in 2006.

 

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

  • Climate Change - impacts and adaptation
    Spatial Planning, Protected Areas and International Standards - assets or liabilities?
    Raising our Profile - engaging policy makers and the public
  • Invasive Species
  • Enhancing Capacity - how on earth are we going to cope with the workload
  • Joined-up Thinking - institutional arrangements for environmental management, with shorter sessions on
  • Progress on Environmental Charters Implementation; and
  • Environmental Education.

Download the full proceedings [11MB] here.

Conference participants from Montserrat and Anguilla discuss project work during the poster session; Copyright: UKOTCF

Also available is the first report (183Kb), produced shortly after the conference. This includes speeches by UK and Cayman Islands Government Ministers, and summaries of main points from conference sessions – although this is now superseded by the Proceedings.

A guided walk by NCTI staff to the Mastic reserve. It is the largest contiguous area of untouched, old growth dry forest remaining on the island; Copyright: UKOTCF

Closing dinner carriage sails participants by mangrove ecosystem; Copyright: UKOTCF