Europe Overseas Connect
Update of the programme on biodiversity and climate change in Europe overseas - February 2011

In this issue: Editorial - Focus on Greenland - Voices from the regions - European Union insights - International highlights - People - Publications - Funding - Events

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Dear colleagues and readers,

I am pleased to share with you Europe Overseas Connect, the newsletter of the IUCN European Union (EU) Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme. The first issue of the newsletter focuses on Greenland, the largest island in the world.

When thinking of Europe, your first thought is probably not of tropical islands, vast oceans, rainforests or glaciers and yet, the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories, or for short Europe overseas, encompass all of that. IUCN aims to raise awareness of their biodiversity and climate change issues and help with developing solutions. > Read the full editorial

Dr. Hans Friederich
IUCN Regional Director for Europe



Greenlandic biodiversity at the forefront of climate change

Greenland is home to a number of species adapted to the harsh Arctic climate. However, the island’s biodiversity is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change.

> Read the full story
Muskoxen in Greenland

Climate change and challenges for Greenland society

The major challenge facing Greenland is the balance between sustainable development and meeting climate change concerns. This balance can only be achieved by pursuing a responsible policy on mitigation and adaption to climate change, and sustainably meeting the needs and aspirations of the Greenlandic people. Renewable energy is an important solution to address climate change and targeting energy consumption and efficiency.

> Read the full story

Arctic technology for the sustainable development of Greenland

Most Greenlandic communities are small remote settlements dependent on oil for their energy needs. The rising costs of oil and gas have spurred interest in renewable options. Developing and adapting new technology to meet the needs of the Arctic region to support its sustainable development is a major task.

> Read the full story
Low-energy house in Greenland

New protected area in the Caribbean

In January 2011, St. Maarten Nature Foundation announced the approval of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, as the country’s first National Environmentally Protected Area. The park is a major step towards realizing environmental and, more specifically, marine conservation on St. Maarten.

> Read the full story
> St. Maarten Nature Foundation
A seahorse in the Man of War Shoal Marine Park

The flora of Reunion Island at risk

In December 2010, the IUCN French National Committee with partners expanded the national Red List of Threatened Species in France to include the flora of Reunion Island. All indigenous vascular plants, which include 905 species of ferns and flowering plants, were assessed using the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM.

> Read the full story
A critically endangered plant from Reunion Island

Henderson Island to be restored in 2011

In December 2001, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) made a provisional decision to proceed with the restoration of the Henderson Island World Heritage Site in August 2011. The restoration aims to eradicate rodents thus saving the endangered Henderson petrel from extinction and preserving the island’s World Heritage values.

> Read the full story
> Henderson Island Restoration Project
> Henderson Island on the UNESCO World Heritage website
Murphy’s petrels above Henderson Island

Conservation achievements in British overseas

In December 2010, the UK's Darwin Initiative published a briefing note on the lessons learned from it’s work in British overseas territories. It presented a number of case studies such as the Turks and Caicos adapting to their environment, creating a legacy through science in Gough Island, responding to change in the Cayman Islands and involving media in conservation efforts on Montserrat.

> Read the briefing note
> Darwin Initiative
Turks and Caicos

Managing invasive alien species in French overseas

In December 2010, IUCN French National Committee with partners convened a workshop in New Caledonia, bringing together sixty experts and stakeholders from all French overseas, their neighbouring countries, and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The workshop aimed to improve the management of invasive alien species in French overseas, and was part of the IUCN French overseas-wide initiative on invasive alien species.

> Read the full story
The Java Deer, one of the most problematic introduced species in New Caledonia, subject of important negotiations among the different stakeholders for its management

Islands of the Western Indian Ocean unite

In October, 2010 during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan, the Western Indian Ocean Partnership (WIOP) was launched. WIOP, under the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), aims to promote national and regional action to safeguard the resilience of the region’s ecosystems so that they can continue to help address climate change and provide security to its people.

> Read the full story
An island of Europe overseas in the Western Indian Ocean

Unique data on Indian Ocean seamounts

IUCN, in collaboration with many partners, including the Marine Ecology laboratory of Reunion University (ECOMAR), organized a survey of seamounts, underwater mountains of volcanic origin that are hotspots of marine biodiversity, in the international waters of the southern Indian Ocean. Currently the taxonomic analysis of the collected samples is under way. Already more than 200 species of fish and 74 species of squid have been identified, including a 70-cm long new species of squid previously unknown to science.

> Read the full story
A new species of squid to the chiroteuthid group of families was discovered amid the samples from the IUCN seamounts cruise. Members of this squid group are generally long and slender and are capable of remarkable bioluminescent displays

EU Strategy on Invasive Alien Species

In December 2010, IUCN participated in the Working Group on Prevention of Invasive Alien Species to discuss the scope of work. The working group is a part of the European Commission’s consultation process for the development of a European Union (EU) Strategy on Invasive Alien Species.

> Read the full story
And invasive predator snail (Euglandina rosea) feeding on an endemic snail species in French Polynesia

EU-Pacific Joint Initiative on Climate Change

In December 2010, the Joint Pacific-EU Initiative on Climate Change was launched. It encourages EU Member States and international partners to join efforts to help Pacific Countries addressing the impacts of climate change more efficiently. The European Commission is leading the EU's efforts in supporting the Pacific Islands in tackling climate change effects, with 90 million euros over 5 years (2008-2013).

> Read the full story
Tuiloma Neroni Slade (left), Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and Andris Piebalgs,  EU Commissioner for Development, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding launching the Joint Pacific-EU Initiative on Climate Change.

Changing perspectives on the next EU budget

In November 2010, a group of environmental NGOs, presented a comprehensive vision for a greener, fairer, and more effective European Union (EU) budget 2014-2020, including a perspective on Europe overseas.

> Read the full story
Changing Perspectives: How the EU budget can shape a sustainable future

Europe overseas go for BEST

In October 2010, at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, France and the United Kingdom jointly announced a voluntary scheme to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Territories of European overseas (BEST). BEST is a unique opportunity to address issues of biodiversity loss and climate change in European overseas.

> Read the full story
Left to right: Mr Ponga, Mr Miko, Mr Robb, and Ms Landy during the CBD COP 10, Nagoya, Japan

2 million euros for OCTs development

In October 2010, the European Commission adopted a decision to fund a Technical Cooperation Facility for EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to improve their ability and awareness in the formulation and implementation of key territorial policies.

> Read the full story
Wind turbine in El Hierro, Canary Islands

Have your say: Consultations on future environment financing

The first consultation is on the next financial instrument for the environment, which will succeed LIFE+ after its expiry at the end of 2013. The second consultation is on future EU co-financing of NATURA 2000, the EU's network of protected areas. Both consultations run until mid-February 2011.

> Contribute to the LIFE+ consultation
> Contribute to the NATURA 2000 consultation
Over 30 % of the Canary Islands is designated as NATURA 2000

Outcomes of the Cancun Climate Change Conference: Opportunities for Parties to submit views related to biodiversity

In January 2011, in an effort to enhance synergies between the two processes, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) prepared a notification including invitations for parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to submit their views on areas of potential input of biodiversity considerations into the climate change discussions.

> Read the full story
> CBD notification
Convention on Biological Diversity

Resolutions on protection of oceans, corals and marine biodiversity

In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two resolutions calling on all States to bolster their support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and landmark texts on protecting coral reefs, mitigating ill effects of chemical munitions dumped at sea.

> Read the full story
The Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

First UNESCO Marine World Heritage meeting

In December 2010, the first UNESCO Marine World Heritage meeting in Hawaii brought together all 43 marine World Heritage site managers and leading marine scientists and practitioners to establish a productive exchange of success stories and management experiences. A report from the meeting will be available in April 2011.

> Read the full story
> UNESCO World Heritage Marine Programme
Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems are designated in the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites

IUCN raises the profile of Europe overseas internationally

In October 2010, during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan, IUCN contributed to a number of events aimed at raising the profile of Europe overseas’ biodiversity and climate change.

> Read the full story
Left to right: Mr Laurent Lebrun and Mr Paul Neaoutyine, Northern Province of New Caledonia, Ms Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General, Mr Maurice Ponga, Ms Dominique Benzaken, IUCN during the CBD COP 10, Nagoya, Japan

Dominique Benzaken

Dominique Benzaken is coordinating the IUCN EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme.
> Read more


Olivier Tyack

Olivier Tyack is coordinating the IUCN Islands Initiative within the IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme.
> Read more


Cambio climático y biodiversidad en los territorios de ultramar de la Unión Europea

> Read the publication


Atlas: Biodiversity of the Francophonie: Richness and vulnerabilities

> Read the publication


Les Espaces protégés français : une pluralité d'outils au service de la conservation de la biodiversité

> Read the publication


Outlook Report on the State of the Marine Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands Region

> Read the report


Baseline Study on Climate Change in French Polynesia

> Read the study


Global Ocean Protection: Present Status and Future Possibilities

> Read the publication


Building Resilience to Climate Change: Ecosystem-based adaptation and lessons from the field

> Read the publication


Sandwatch: Adapting to Climate Change and Educating for Sustainable Development

> Download the revised and expanded edition of the manual


Carbon Management in Tourism: Mitigating the Impacts on Climate Change

> Find out more


Disappearing Destinations: Climate Change and Future Challenges for Coastal Tourism

> Find out more


Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs: Structure, Form and Process

> Find out more


NET-BIOME call towards biodiversity management in support of sustainable development in tropical and sub-tropical EU

> Apply by February 28, 2011


US Fish and Wildlife Service's grants for Latin America and the Caribbean

> Apply by March 1, 2011


Climate & Development Knowledge Network's research funding

> Apply by March 31, 2011


INTERREG IVC funding for environment and risk prevention

> Apply by April 1, 2011


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's grants for sea turtle conservation - Fall 2011

> Submit pre-proposals by April 1, 2011


LIFE+ funding

> Call for proposals to be published in Mid-February 2011


New funding initiative Save Our Species (SOS)

> The first call for proposals to be issued in early 2011


February 28 - March 4, 2011 (Port Vila, Vanatu)

> 1st Pacific Training Workshop, Policy Dialogue and Hight Level Segment of the Global Climate Change Alliance


February 28 - March 4, 2011 (New Caledonia)

> OCTA Ministerial Conference and Forum


February 28 - March 4, 2011 (Noumea, New Caledonia)

> 7th Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Heads of Fisheries Meeting


March 1 - 2, 2011 (Sisimiut, Greenland)

> International ARTEK Event 2011: Innovation in Greenland


March 4 - 7, 2011 (Willemstad, Curaçao)

> 1st International Conference on Governance for Sustainable Development of Caribbean SIDS


March 14 - 18, 2011 (Alofi, Niue)

> Pacific Climate Change Roundtable: Mobilising Climate Change Resources


March 20 - 25, 2011 (Honolulu, Hawaii)

> 5th International Marine Debris Conference


March 21 - 23, 2011 (Grand Baie, Mauritius)

> Conference on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation in the Western Indian Ocean


March 22 - 24, 2011 (Akureyri, Iceland)

> Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Workshop on Sea Ice Associated Biodiversity


March 28 - 29, 2011 (Belize City, Belize)

> Caribbean Regional Conference of the Global Climate Change Alliance


March 28 - 30, 2011 (Girdwood, Alaska)

> Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Workshop on Arctic Protected Areas Monitoring Framework


March 29 - 30, 2011 (Brussels, Belgium)

> OCTA Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Small Islands and Greenland


> See more events and opportunities

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IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2011

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

You have received this newsletter because the IUCN EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme might be of interest to you.

The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of IUCN.

Photo credits: Greenlandic biodiversity © The Government of Greenland; Climate changes © The Government of Greenland; Arctic technology © ARTEK; New protected area © St. Maarten Nature Foundation; The Flora of Reunion © Sonia Françoise/CBNM; Henderson Island © Richard Cuthbert; Conservation achievements © Mike Pienkowski; Managing invasive © Michel de Garine; Islands of the Western © John Turner; Unique data © Rainer von Brandis/IUCN; EU Strategy © Olivier Gargominy; EU-Pacific © European Commission; Changing perspectives © BirdLife Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network, Conservation International, European Environment Bureau, Friends of Earth Europe, Transport and Environment, WWF; Europe overseas © IUCN; 2 million euros © ITER Canarias; Have your say © Matarpada; Outcomes of the Cancun © CBD; Resolutions on protection © Mila Zinkova; First UNESCO © Dan Laffoley/IUCN; IUCN raises the profile © IUCN; Dominique Benzaken © IUCN/GLISPA; Olivier Tyack © IUCN; Header banner © The Government of Greenland.

This newsletter has been developed, compiled and edited by Dominique Benzaken and Anete Berzina, IUCN EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme. A particular thank you to all those colleagues and partners for having contributed to this newsletter. Send your contribution for the next editons to