21 November, 2007


Commitment No 6: Implement Effectively Multilateral Environmental Agreements already Extended to the Territory and Work towards the Extension of Other Relevant Agreements. This was the sixth commitment made by the government of Anguilla, like other OT governments which in the year 2001 signed up to an Environmental Charter [link here] .

Dr Mike Pienkowski is the Chairman of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum. He was engaged as a consultant to examine how we were performing under our Charter. He prepared a Report of August 2007. The Report measures performance by the year 2007 of UKOTs and the UK Government in implementing the 2001 Environment Charters. His 19-page report is titled Measures of Performance by 2007 of UKOTs and UK Government in Implementing the 2001 Environment Charters or their Equivalents. A copy of his Report can be read [link here]. We have been looking at some of its findings off and on over the past couple of weeks. To continue:

According to the Report, Anguilla is not living up to this commitment. In other words, we have not been effectively implementing international agreements that we have invited the British to extend to us. One example is the Ramsar Convention on wetlands. We asked that this be extended to us. You would think we would do something to follow up. Unlike most of the other territories, we have not bothered to designate any sites as wetlands of international importance. Though we claim over 50 km2 of our 90 km2 island as qualifying as wetlands, we have not yet designated any wetlands under the Convention. In this neglect, we join such lesser advanced societies as Ascension Island, Tristan de Cunha, South Georgia, and Pitcairn Island.

Unlike most of the other territories we have not had the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species [link here] extended to us. I can bring any amount of endangered species into Anguilla, and I am not breaking any law. It is quite disturbing to me to learn that CITES has not yet been extended to Anguilla. That rare St Vincent snake that I had so desperately wanted to bring home, but had unnecessarily released in Chateaubellaire, would not have been a problem!

Unlike most of the other territories, we have not got around to having the Convention on Biological Diversity [link here] extended to us.

Nor the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species [link here].

Nor the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.

We are the only territory not to have had the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter [link here] applied to us. No wonder we have to push aside the toilet paper as we swim among the yachts in Sandy Ground.

We have had the World Heritage Convention extended to us, as have all of the other Overseas Territories. But, we have not got a World Heritage Site of our own. Only Bermuda, Tristan da Cuhha and Pitcairn Island do, so we are not alone. We do claim to have two domestically protected cultural heritage sites. Not much of a boast. It compares to 7 for the TCI, and 55 listings in the Falklands.

Our record in the area of implementing environmental agreements that have been already extended to us can only be described as abysmally bad. Equally pathetic is our record in requesting the British government to extend to us other important agreements that will help us to ensure the protection of our environment for future generations.

It is all so short-sighted and unnecessary! That is what happens when our leaders only see the greenbacks and lack any vision!


  1. The National Trust says they haven't bothered with this stuff because they're been working on our obligations under the St. Georges Declaration. These include the following and I'd like to know what they've been doing about them:

    17 Joint Decision-making On International Environmental Agreements

    The governments and peoples of the region will become increasingly active participants in international agreements on the environment. Joint regional positions will be reflected in these agreements.

    20 Obligations Of Member States

    The Member States of the OECS will recognise their commitment to the principles and put measures in place to ensure their implementation. Governments will report on progress of implementation at the annual meeting of the OECS Ministers of the Environment Policy Committee (EPC).

  2. "We recognize that our environment is impacted by every new project and if we do not put in place a sound sustainable development strategy which ensures that such impacts are eliminated, mitigated, reduced and financed we will be doing future generations of Anguillians a great disservice."

    --from Anguilla Day Address by some unidentified person, found on the Public Relations section of the Government website: http://www.gov.ai/story.php?id=18

  3. Seven years ago the United Front made the following promise to us in their Manifesto. What have they done about it?

    The work of various central government and autonomous agencies as well as the efforts of private sector and community organizations needs to be underpinned by a declaration of Government’s policy goals for environmental management for sustainable development. An environmental policy statement and strategy will be developed. Some of the issues to be addressed are:

    · protection and conservation of endangered terrestrial and marine flora and fauna;

    · Anguilla’s response to global warming, climate change and the rise in sea level;

    . recycling as an environmental response to the challenges of solid waste disposal;

    · environmental awareness and education;

    · restoration and maintenance of cultural and historic artifacts; and

    · regional and international collaboration and networking on environmental management and sustainability initiatives.


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