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Jersey to host multinational marine environment summit conference

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JERSEY is set to host a multinational environmental conference, which will see delegates from across the North Atlantic discussing the future of global marine-environment policy.

Low water at Les Ecréhous

The news comes as the Minquiers and Écréhous have been registered by inter-governmental organisation OSPAR as Marine Protected Areas, raising the international status of the two offshore reefs.

It is the first time that Jersey will host OSPAR’s biodiversity committee meeting, which will set the commission’s targets for the next five to ten years.

Up to 50 delegates from ten countries, including representatives from the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as Iceland and Spain, will join Jersey’s marine environment officials to set goals and agree commitments for governments across the North Atlantic.

The agenda includes topics such as the protection and conservation of species and habitats, the North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2010-2020, and marine protected areas.

Environment Minister John Young said that the meeting would be an opportunity for delegates to find out about the many ways in which Jersey was having a positive impact on the marine environment.

‘This event comes shortly after I was in Scotland for the British-Irish Council Marine Litter Symposium, at which I was able to talk about the pioneering research and fieldwork around Jersey, as well as the excellent environmental initiatives we run,’ he said.

‘This will be another chance for us to play our part in identifying and tackling threats to the marine environment, as well as strengthening our links with OSPAR.’

Paul Chambers, marine and coastal manager at the Environment Department, said that the conference would be an opportunity for OSPAR members to understand the lengths to which Jersey goes to protect and preserve the marine environment.

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‘We are very fortunate to be hosting this prestigious event,’ he said. ‘It gives Jersey the opportunity to highlight recent advances in the management of our marine environment, in particular the creation of marine protected areas covering parts of our coast and offshore reefs.

‘As well as being a signatory to the OSPAR Convention, Jersey has ratified the convention’s annex on the conservation and protection of key marine habitats. This, as well as having the Minquiers and Écréhous accepted as part of OSPAR’s Marine Protected Areas network, strengthens our links with the multinational organisation.’

The OSPAR biodiversity committee meeting takes place at the Grand Jersey from 25 to 29 March.

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins
Reporter

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