The Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP, represented Bermuda at the 6th UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies (UKOT/CD) Environment Ministers’ Council.
Held virtually on 18 May, the meeting included 31 environment ministers or equivalent representatives from UKOT/CD discussing critical environmental matters.
Territories discussed the draft request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States in respect of Climate Change, the Views of jurisdictions on reaching 30% territory conserved by 2030 – a challenge both on land and at sea and how other jurisdictions plan to integrate the Convention on Biodiversity CoP15 into biodiversity strategies. Presentations were also given around Tackling Invasive Non-Native Species in UKOTs and CDs, followed by discussions.
During the meeting, Minister Roban spoke about the essential need for territories to have an enforceable robust planning and environmental regulatory framework. Participants discussed having a clear Environmental, Social and Governance policy that can help balance ecological protection and sustainable development while supporting the need to attract local and international investments in jobs while creating opportunity, climate action, and inward investment to support the energy transition. He also shared his international experience representing Overseas Territories through speaking with Lord Byron.
Reflecting on the meeting, Minister Roban said, "I am happy to have represented Bermuda at this Environment Ministers' Council. This event is an excellent opportunity to discuss with the UK Government the issues important to the territories around matters of the environment common to us all. We discussed issues facing UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies and where we can learn from each other's experiences within our respective jurisdictions. From these meetings, I hope we continually improve and better position ourselves to progress initiatives that protect our environment."