The conservation of threatened species such as whales, marine turtles and sharks will receive a boost in funding of over £8 million for projects, the UK Government announced today [Saturday 5 June 2021] on World Environment Day.
Over the next three years, 31 projects will receive £8.02 million through the Darwin Plus scheme for conservation of environments found in UK Overseas Territories.
Habitats and species set to benefit from funding include threatened albatross species in the southern Atlantic overseas territories, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, through improved population monitoring; Anguilla’s shark populations, through increasing knowledge of their habitats and conservation needs, while developing local ownership of their conservation through greater community engagement.
Other conservation projects to benefit from funding include an initiative in Cayman’s Sister Islands which aims to safeguard a number of native species from invasive species such as feral cats and green iguanas. In the Ascension Islands’, marine turtles will be monitored using innovative modelling techniques and new labour-saving technologies. While in the Indian Ocean, coral reefs on the island of Diego Garcia will be tended to and sustainably managed by small-scale fishers.
Announcing the funding, International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “World Environment Day provides us all with a stark reminder of why we need to take urgent action to reverse global biodiversity loss. The Darwin Plus funding announced today will support the magnificent biodiversity hotspots that make up our Overseas Territories, which are so threatened by climate change.”
It is understood that the funding will help restore precious ecosystems, prevent the extinction of some of the world’s most wonderful species, and support the local communities.
Image Source: Darwin Plus