Ascension : Conservation - Feedback on International Conference Participation
Submitted by The Islander (Raymond Ellick) 02.11.2006 (Article Archived on 16.11.2006)
I have recently attended 3 international Conferences and gave feedback to the Conservation Department Staff and the Island Council last week.
Contribution by Tara Pelembe, AIG Conservation/Sea Fisheries Officer
Telephone No: + (247) 6359
Facsimile: + (247) 6359
Here is a basic outline of where I went, what I did, and how it can potentially benefit Ascension. If anyone has any more questions or would like so read some more on the conferences or any of the issues raised, please feel free to contact me (details above)
9th International Seabird Group Conference: Aberdeen. This was a weekend long conference that basically looks at seabird research where members meet and share and present their work. Ascension featured on two posters, both of which I co-authored, along with Norman Ratcliffe from RSPB and Mike Bell (WMIL) where the work on the Frigatebird and on seabird returning to the main island were presented. John Hughes (Army Ornithological Society) also gave a presentation on the Sooty terns of Ascension.
IUCN – Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation: Paris. I attended this conference with Sarah Sanders (RSPB) and Simon Glass (Tristan Conservation Officer). The conference looked at bridging the gap between development and environment and was particularly important for Ascension, because, there was a concerted effort to get recognition of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) at the European level, and there was a whole workshop dedicated to “get recognition for the importance of biodiversity as a key element in the sustainable development of OCTs. Building a European initiative for environment and sustainable development in the OCTs of Europe, in their regional context”
UKOTCF – United Kingdom Overseas Countries and Territories Forum Conference – Jersey.
This conference brings together people working with the United Kingdom Overseas Territories. There was a main conference, and two workshops, one on Environmental Impact Assessments, and one on Bird monitoring. In both workshops I presented examples from Ascension. Ascensions posters and leaflets were also on display throughout the conference. The programme included topics such as dealing with invasive species; obtaining and using resources; environmental charters and strategic planning and environmental education – the joint OTEP project between Ascension and the Falklands was used as an example in the environmental education session.
It is important that Ascension is represented at such conferences as it raises the profile of the island, demonstrates internationally our competencies and capabilities, provides new windows of opportunities for further development and is vital for making contacts with individuals and organisations that can prove invaluable in the future.
I would like to thank the Ascension Island Government and the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) for giving me the opportunity to attend these conferences.