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Local environmentalists flying the flag at international conference

Local environmentalists flying the flag at international conference

Friday 05 March 2021

Local environmentalists flying the flag at international conference


Scientists from the Guernsey Pollinator Project and the Alderney Wildlife Trust are participating in the UK and Overseas Territories Conservation Forum.

Dr Miranda Bane and Roland Gauvain are among a long list of speakers featuring the UK's Pacific and the Environment Minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Lord Zac Goldsmith, international government ministers, scientists and conservation representatives from across the world.

The forum started this week and comes to a close next Wednesday.

“We’re really pleased to be included in the programme alongside the Alderney Wildlife Trust and the government of Jersey," said Dr Bane from the Pollinator Project. 

"The breadth of contributions from territories as far afield as the Turks and Caicos, Tristan da Cunha and Montserrat will make this an especially interesting few days.

"We may not have blue iguanas, mountain chickens or spiky yellow woodlice, but the Bailiwick’s blond hedgehogs, mole crickets and hairy footed bees are as fascinating as any wildlife."

pollinator_project_logo_island_neutral-1536x698-2.png

Pictured: The Pollinator Project is an initiative of La Société Guernesiaise co-founded by Barry Wells and Vanessa Crispini-Adams in 2017.

“I’ve been asked if there is anything relevant we can learn from other small, but quite different islands," she continued.

"There are two answers to that; firstly, we are all bound by international goals such as the Aichi targets, and each island can learn from other’s approaches for achieving those. Secondly, we can see from the programme that several island governments have focused on the link between tourism and conservation and ecosystem restoration – all important aspects of conservation on Guernsey.

"Some islands are significantly more advanced in their work so there is a lot we can learn to help us achieve our own Nature Strategy goals. It’s very relevant and important to be attending."

When faced with the challenge of helping nature to recover, Mr Gauvain said the only way forward is collaboration and teamwork.

“Over the last 20 years, these meetings between the UK’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories have proven themselves extremely valuable.

"We are small, largely independent, islands with rich cultures and dynamic diverse wildlife, but we are not immune to profound global and local environmental pressures, so the opportunity to share knowledge and experience is crucial."

As part of her presentation, Dr Bane said she had been asked to talk about challenges and solutions to island conservation.

"We are lucky that we don’t have to cope with natural disasters like erupting volcanoes and hurricanes which other islands are faced with. One of our great challenges though is a lack of understanding of what is happening to pollinator numbers and therefore a clear target for our islands’ biodiversity.

"We are thrilled to have the ongoing participation of islanders in our projects, especially monitoring bumblebees found in Guernsey, with many using the Guernsey Bumblr app, over 6000 sightings were recorded in 2020."

The conference “Staying Connected for Conservation in a Changed World” is open to all and more details can be found at https://www.ukotcf.org.uk/our-conferences/onlineconference2021/.

Pictured top: The Pollinator Project is representing Guernsey at the international conference (Credit: The Pollinator Project Twitter).

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