|The Forum since its outset has operated as a liaison body with part-time staff producing a newsletter, co-ordinating project activities, and providing information and advice. The current members of the Forum, listed on the membership page, fund the Forum on a subscription basis. Associate Members are also listed .
The Forum until the mid 1990s had an informal structure. The Forum's activities have expanded enormously over the years and, to deal with this effectively, it became formally constituted as a charitable company in 1996.
The relationship between the Forum and Government has also evolved and, more particularly, a dynamic relationship has developed post UNCED in 1992. The Rio Conference spawned the Darwin Initiative, the Biodiversity Convention and Biodiversity - the UK Action Plan (1994). All of these have had significant impacts for the Forum and more broadly for conservation in the Overseas Territories.
The Forum successfully bid for a small grant in the first Darwin Initiative allocation and this money enabled the then Coordinator to work on a more sustained basis - to put in more hours to developing the Forum so that it can be more effective in helping conservation efforts in the Overseas Territories.
More effort has been put into publicity and the Forum, for example, produced a new illustrated brochure. The Darwin grant has also enabled the Coordinator to work with others to produce the "Conservation Review". This document outlined what Forum member organisations considered should be done to implement practical conservation measures in the Overseas Territories and what the Forum itself would do over the next five years. The plan resulted from a process of extensive consultation.
The achievements of locally based NGOs are clearly substantial, given that resources are so limited. It is interesting to note the formation of new NGOs in the Overseas Territories within the life-time of the Forum: Anguilla National Trust, Turks and Caicos National Trust and St Helena Nature Conservation Group and the joining of the latter with other local partners to form St Helena National Trust,for all of which the Forum can take some credit, and also the UK-based Friends of the Chagos, now Chagos Conservation Trust.
The Forum is currently under-resourced in relation to its objectives. Partly as a result of its own success, expectations of the Forum have increased dramatically, for example, in terms of providing advice and information to Government agencies on policy and on project development and implementation.