British Overseas Territories: Exclusive Economic Zone

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what policies they have in place (1) for the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zones around the United Kingdom's worldwide dependencies, and (2) to ensure maximum economic advantage for the United Kingdom and its dependencies from those waters and seabed.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

The British Government is committed to protecting the marine environment of the Overseas Territories. As part of this work we plan to work with the Overseas Territories to create “blue belts” to help manage their dynamic and important ecosystems in a way which effectively balances environmental protection and economic potential. This will help the UK to meet its international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims to protect ten per cent of marine waters globally. In support of this goal the UK has, in addition, declared a full no take Marine Protected Area around the British Indian Ocean Territory and a sustainable use Marine Protected Area in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The Overseas Territories are responsible for managing their terrestrial and marine environments, including their economic potential. The UK is responsible in international law for compliance with international obligations.

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