British Overseas Territories: Marine Protected Areas

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 20 March 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage British Overseas Territories to join the Blue Belt Initiative; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Overseas Territories governments have responsibility for management and protection of the marine environment. The UK's Blue Belt Programme was launched in 2016, aiming to enhance marine protection in the Territories; Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha soon joined and committed to designating marine protected areas. The Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla have also now joined. The Programme is open to all Overseas Territories wishing to enhance marine protection and sustainable management. A sub programme, Blue Belt Ocean Shield, provides support with enforcement to Bermuda; and a network of Territories deploying Baited Remote Underwater Video Cameras (BRUVS) has been set up.

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