Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley has said that the Government of the Virgin Islands will be upscaling the mangrove nursery to a mangrove bank as it seeks to benefit from and participate in the blue carbon market.
Honourable Wheatley made the announcement following his return to the Territory after attending the 2021 United Nations climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.
Honourable Wheatley said apart from the introduction of the mangrove bank, Government will also “strengthen legislation geared towards the protection of the environment, increase and encourage the use of renewable energy systems, electric cars and energy saving light bulbs”.
The minister was part of the official UK Overseas Territories (UKOT) Association delegation which attended the COP26 summit to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The other OT members who were a part of the delegation were officials from Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman, Gibraltar and Turks and Caicos Islands.
The team also hosted an event on Nature and Land Use Day on November 6. The event explored how the UKOTs are taking action to counter and mitigate the effects of global warming and how they are safeguarding precious marine environments. Participants signed an agreement pledging to reduce their carbon footprints by 2030.
Honourable Wheatley said, “I thought it was very important that the voices of the Overseas Territories be heard loud and clear as we hold over 90% of the UK’s bio-diversity, if sufficient funding is not secured for the protection of our environment, the consequences will be dire. The BVI is fully committed to doing its part in the race to zero.”
The goals of COP26 are to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, mobilise finance, and work together to deliver.
The Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to implement legislation to safeguard the natural resources of the Territory while exploring feasible methods to ensure sustainability and economic growth.
Photo 1: (Left to Right) Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Parliamentary Secretary Quincia Gumbs-Merie of Anguilla; Deputy Premier Walter Roban of Bermuda; Minister of Tourism, Josephine Connolly of Turks and Caicos; Premier Wayne Panton of Cayman Islands; and Environment and Conservation Policy Officer, Stephanie Martin of Tristan da Cunha
Photo 2 and 3: Honourable Wheatley with other Overseas Territory Colleagues
(Photo credit: Provided)