The priorities identified in this section were worked out with the full involvement of conservation bodies in each UK Overseas Territory. This exercise was originally undertaken by the Forum in 1994-5 and published by the Forum in 1996 as UK Dependent Territories: a Conservation Review (a study supported by UK Government’s Darwin Initiative). Section 4 of this publication consisted of the conservation priorities for UK Dependent Territories. The introduction to that section noted that the recommendations for each UK Overseas Territory (then termed "Dependency") were the priority actions that the Forum would help to promote and implement over the next 5 years. They had been compiled in close association with non-governmental organisations (and usually governmental ones too) in the Overseas Territories. Recommendations had been extracted from: the Forum Projects Database, which listed recommendations made by each conservation project; information supplied by conservation non-governmental organisations in the Overseas Territories; and then recent reports including Biodiversity: The UK National Action Plan; and the report on Ramsar Convention on Wetlands implementation in the Overseas Territories carried out by the Forum and IWRB in 1992. The Forum was aware that the recommendations formed the basis for an extensive programme of work, which may not have been fully feasible given the current level of resources available for conservation in the Overseas Territories. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made in several Overseas Territories since that time, in many cases with the help of the Forum.
This printed publication was transferred to web-database and partners in Overseas Territories had the opportunity to review these priorities more regularly, using this database from about 2000 onwards. In the body of the database, updates to any section are indicated by a note at the end of the section as to when updated. Sections with no such note are the original 1996 version. These priorities, compiled from a variety of sources, were presented as a starting point for the identification of key project activities.
Collaborative efforts were now required between the various agencies to develop strategies for implementation. With the development and signing of the Environment Charters in 2001, UKOTCF understood that such work would be taken forward within the context of these. UKOTCF, supported by FCO, played its part in this by facilitating, in 2002-3, the development of strategy to implement the Environment Charter in a pilot UKOT – for which Turks & Caicos volunteered. After this, St Helena secured funding from OTEP and, at its request, UKOTCF facilitated a strategy there too, in 2004-5. (Details of both of these can be found at www.ukotcf.org/charters/strategyDevel.htm)
Around the same time, UKOTCF personnel visited the Falkland Islands to advise personnel there, who were approaching Environment Charter strategy development via an alternative route of biodiversity strategy and action plans. UKOTCF also helped Ascension personnel draft a simple Environment Charter implementation strategy; this was adopted informally, but lost when HMG cancelled local democracy there. Following these mainly successful exercises, FCO and DFID lost interest for some years in supporting such work, as well as in the monitoring of progress which it had initially asked UKOTCF to co-ordinate.
More recently, UKOTCF has been seeking resourcing to work with UKOT partners to update the review of conservation needs, and continues to do this. Meanwhile, we leave on record here the earlier assessments.