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The UK Overseas Territories

Photo: Trevor Glass

The Remarkable UK Overseas Territories

There are 16 Overseas Territories for which the UK retains sovereign responsibility. Mainly small islands, these Territories are spread across every major ocean basin on the planet. They are the UK’s most valuable environmental treasures, holding at least 94% of our unique wildlife species and every major habitat type on earth, including rainforest, tundra, desert, coral reef and icefield.

Nature exists here at vast scale: a third of the world’s albatross and a quarter of the world’s penguins breed in the Territories. With some of the clearest, richest and deepest parts of the world’s oceans under their stewardship, collectively they also have the fifth largest marine estate on the planet.

The UK has special responsibility for these globally important environments. Since the Territories’ biodiversity assets far exceed those in the mainland UK, they offer funders incomparable impact and value for money. Relatively modest projects can save unique habitats, prevent global extinctions, transform local capacity and facilitate legislative change.

Next Steps for Funders

1) Explore and Share the Case for Funding in the UK Overseas Territories

The Environmental Funders Network has prepared a prospectus laying out the unparalleled opportunity for UK funders to achieve global conservation impacts in the Overseas Territories. It showcases their unique assets, explains the UK’s shared responsibility, highlights fundable local solutions and provides testimonials from experienced funders and NGOs.

2) Join a New Funders’ Collaborative

There is a strong case for funders to collaborate in order to maximise impact and coordination in these small jurisdictions. We are therefore delighted to be supporting John Ellerman Foundation in the process of establishing a collaborative fund for the UK Overseas Territories which is currently open to wider funder participation.

3) Fund Projects in Direct Need of Support

There are currently few direct links between UK funders and Territory NGOs. In order to aid bilateral funding agreements, we have co-ordinated a large pipeline of locally-led project concepts in need of support which are available to view here.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Hall, EFN’s Strategy Advisor for the UK Overseas Territories.